Merlin Entertainments’ preliminary results for 2016 show revenue growth and progress towards the plc’s strategic goals for 2020.
Revenue growth of 11.7 per cent was due largely to favourable currency effects and translated to a 3.6 per cent growth at constant FX. Similarly reported EBITDA growth of 7.7 per cent was equivalent to a decline of 1.8 per cent once the effect of currency fluctuations was removed.
Looking across Merlin’s portfolio of attractions, the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group (RTP) of reported like-for-like revenue growth of 4.3 per cent with recovery at Alton Towers following the Smiler accident in 2015.
The LEGOLAND Parks Operating Group showed like-for-like revenue growth of 1.6 per cent.
However “difficult trading conditions in certain key markets” for the Midway Attractions Operating Group resulted in a like-for-like revenue decline of 0.2 per cent.
Merlin reports good progress towards their 2020 strategic milestones. Highlights include five new Midway attractions opened in 2016, 210 rooms added and the opening of LEGOLAND Dubai in October 2016.
In a statement, Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our performance in 2016 is testament to the benefits of our strategy of portfolio and geographic diversification, with over 70% of our profits coming from outside of the UK. We have seen the continuation of a recovery in Resort Theme Parks, steady growth in LEGOLAND Parks and a strong contribution from New Business Development. The external environment continued to present challenges in a number of our key markets although the impact of this was offset to some degree by cost control measures taken during the year.
“We made good progress against our 2020 milestones in 2016. Five new Midway attractions opened, our accommodation offering expanded, and our entry into the Middle East region was celebrated with the opening of LEGOLAND Dubai in October. The pipeline into 2017 and beyond looks exciting with over half of the projects necessary to achieve our 2020
milestones either opened, approved or under development.
“As we move into 2017, with ongoing volatility in a number of our markets and continued cost pressures, we will increase our focus on cost efficiency and productivity, while continuing to invest in our product, marketing, and people to deliver safe and memorable experiences to our guests.”
“We continue to be excited about the long term growth opportunities for Merlin. Whilst we are planning prudently, we remain confident of a good performance in the year ahead.”