The world’s largest regional theme park company, Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, announced record-breaking Adjusted EBITDA of $350 million for 2011, representing a 19% increase of $55 million on 2010. This is primarily due to lower cash operating costs and more spending by its visitors.
Modified EBITDA Margin, a comparable measure of theme park performance, showed that Six Flags had reached an “industry high” of 37.4%, which represents a “430 basis point improvement over 2010”. The figures have also shown 2011 to be a record high for Six Flags.
“With all-time-high guest satisfaction ratings and record financial performance, our team has delivered an exceptional year for guests and shareholders alike, ” said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. “I am particularly pleased that we achieved our aspirational Adjusted EBITDA target of $350 million in 2011. Our success is directly attributable to a focused business strategy, quality execution and the dedication of our employees—our company’s most important asset.”
For the full year, revenue showed an increase of $37 million to $1.0 billion which translates into a 4% gain due to a $44 million or 5% increase in visitor spending, offset by a $6 million decline in sponsorship, international licensing, management fees and accommodations revenue.
Lower marketing, compensation and utility costs resulted in a $22 million (3%) decrease in cash expenses decreased $22 million or 3 percent in 2011.
Capital expenditure for 2011 was reported as $91 million.
Fourth quarter 2011 Adjusted EBITDA improved 60% over the prior year to $35 million, driven by revenue growth of 13% to $138 million for the period. Over the quarter total cash expense increases of $3 million (3%) were attributable to higher labor and marketing costs.
Although guest attendance in the final quarter increased 16% to 3.6million guests, strong season pass attendance resulted in a $0.36 decline in admissions revenue per capita to $19.21, and a $0.29 decline in total guest spending per capita to $34.82. By contrast in-park revenue per capita increased $0.07 to $15.61.
For the full year, admissions revenue per capita increased by $1.24 to $22.30 over the previous year and in-park revenue per capita went up by $0.54 to $17.03. Overall, guest spending per capita for the full year increased $1.78 (5%) to $39.33, . Full year attendance was 24.3 million guests.
Other recent financial news
In December, Six Flags entered into a new $1.135 billion credit facility which should reduce annual cash interest costs by around $13 million, based on current LIBOR rates, which extends maturity to 2018.
Last month the Six Flags Board of Directors authorised a $250 million share repurchase plan over four years.
Further to this, Six Flags increased its quarterly dividend from $0.06 to $0.60 per common share in February, which represents an annual dividend of $2.40 per share.
Images: Kind courtesy Six Flags