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SeaWorld outlines financial response to COVID-19

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SeaWorld Emperor ride

As SeaWorld Parks remain closed because of COVID-19, the company has taken proactive financial steps to protect its customers, employees and animals.

SeaWorld Entertainment has taken financial steps in response to lockdown measures that are still in place accross America. Interim CEO, Marc Swanson, said that the steps they have taken “will provide us with significant financial flexibility and liquidity to operate in this unprecedented and highly uncertain environment.”

Reducing expenditure

Seaworld Entertainment has reduced its executive officers’s base salary by 20% until its theme parks resume normal operations. Furthermore, the company has substantially reduced its marketing and advertising spending.

All non-essential operating expenditures have either been eliminated or deferred, for both the theme parks and at a corporate level. SeaWorld has also worked with its vendors and business partners to defer, manage or abate certain costs whilst COVID-19 disruptions continue.

Since the parks remain closed, SeaWorld is extending season pass expiration dates, or providing other offerings.

Continuing to care for its animals

The care of its animals remains a high priority for the company, and zoological experts are continuing to care for SeaWorld animals. The SeaWorld animal rescue team is also still carrying out critical animal rescue work.

The company has also created a dedicated team to develop a reopening plan, once it is safe to do so.

Credit Facility and Liquidity

The company has been able to amend its exisiting revolving credit facility. This means that it is exempt from complying with the financial maintenance covenants for the second, third and fourth quarters of 2020.

The company estimates its net cash outflows to be around $25 million a month while the parks are closed. Cost saving measures are being looked into. SeaWorld expects to have sufficient liquidity to meet its cash expenditure requirements into the fourth quarter of 2021.

January and February 2020 saw record attendance

Before the forced closure of its parks, SeaWorld saw record attendance and revenue for January and February 2020. Attendance increased by 9% in these months compared to 2019. Total revenue for the first two months of 2020 was approximately $121 million, which is an increase of $13 million compared to January and February 2019.

Taking into account the impact from park closures, the company expects total revenue for the quarter that ended on 31 March 2020 to be between $150-$155 million.

Swanson said that he is “proud of our team and thankful for their resilience during these uncertain times. We are fully committed to successfully navigating through this current environment, reopening our parks and welcoming back our guests as soon as it’s safe and permitted.”

SeaWorld has furloughed more than 90% of its employees and remains uncertain when it will be able to reopen.

CEO Sergio Rivera resigned at the beginning of April, leaving CFO Marc Swanson as interim CEO.

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Alice Sarsfield-Hall

Alice is Sales and Events Manager and looks after Blooloop’s clients, new business and events. She studied English Literature and French at the University of Leeds. A Disney and Harry Potter geek, you can usually find her reading, baking or at a museum.

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