The Hong Kong-listed company that acquired SEGA’s indoor theme park business has just announced its latest financial results. Spurred on by the success of Shanghai Joypolis, China Animation plans to open further outlets across the country.
In its audited annual results for the year ended March 31, China Animation Characters Company Limited (China Animation) recorded a revenue of HK$770.6 million (US$98.7m), representing a year-on-year increase of 41.1%. Gross profit increased by 58.1% to HK$260 million (US$33m). The board of directors recommended the payment of a final dividend of HK2 cents per share.
During the period, China Animation’s indoor theme park and multimedia animation entertainment business became the major growth driver. In January, the company acquired 85.1% of Tokyo-listed SEGA Sammy (the remainder held by Sega itself). Now renamed SEGA Joypolis, the group owns the SEGA Joypolis indoor theme parks and video gaming centres. This makes makes China Animation the leading chain operator in this field. The company also has animation, TV, software and virtual reality (VR) interests.
Joypolis in China
Benefitting from full control of Shanghai Joypolis, revenue from the park business soared year-on-year by 5.6 times to HK$220 million (US$28m). The number of visitors across such venues skyrocketed 9.2 times to 2.19 million. Other brands now controlled by China Animation include SEGA Wonder Forest and VR Game Center, which also performed well.
Shanghai Joypolis opened for business in February 2016 and now covers an area of almost 8,500 square metres. In addition to Shanghai, Joypolis outlets can be found in Tokyo, Osaka, Qingdao and Dubai (formerly Sega Republic).
China Animation plans to open new outlets in Mainland China as well as at Hengqin Island near Macau. The latter will be a joint development with We Park Development Company. Other locations include the Jiangsu Province city of Changzhou, and Wuxi City and Dingxing County, both in Hebei Province.
A nationwide chain
Furthermore, there are plans to open between 100 and 150 SEGA Wonder Forest outlets in first tier cities within China in the next three years. These are described as “intelligent and innovative parent-child amusement parks” for children aged 3-12, with an average floor area of 600 to 1,200 sq m. China Animation has agreed a strategic co-operation with the Yitian Group and will hold a 51% stake as the two parties develop the nationwide chain of properties, starting with an outlet at Shenzhen Yitian Holiday Plaza. This is expected to open by the end of September, close to the OCT Group’s Window of the World and Happy Valley theme parks.
Last August, China Animation expanded its VR gaming experience centre business by opening a facility in Shanghai called V-Park. New VR centres will be launched in Shanghai, Changzhou and Shenzhen, as well as others in co-operation with third parties.
“There is a strong demand for the cultural and entertainment industry in China,” notes China Animation chairman and CEO, Zhuang Xiangsong. “We may develop theme parks in China’s major cities by way of licensing and cooperating with land developers. The introduction of SEGA’s Joypolis, Wonder Forest and VR theme parks in first-tier cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen can accelerate the expansion of our business.”
Images: Shanghai Joypolis