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Theme parks: Six Flags announces 20% Revenue Growth and Record $22 Million adjusted EBITDA for the 4th Quarter 2010

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Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) announced today fourth quarter 2010 revenue of $122 million, representing growth of $21 million or 20 percent over the same period in 2009 while full year 2010 revenue grew $77 million or nine percent to $976 million.

Related: Six Flags Completes Debt Refinancing / Six Flags Magic Mountain Recaptures Coveted World Record of More Coasters than Any Other Theme Park on the Planet!

Adjusting prior year reporting for the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Waterpark (the "Lodge"), the results of which were consolidated beginning January 1, 2010 due to the adoption of new accounting rules(1), and the current year for fresh start reporting adjustments, revenue grew $19 million or 18 percent in the fourth quarter and $66 million or 7 percent for the full year 2010. Both the quarter and full year revenue growth were primarily attributable to improvements in in-park sales, admission ticket sales and sponsorships fees.

Profitability for the company was strong with Adjusted EBITDA(2) reaching $22 million in the fourth quarter and $295 million for the full year 2010, representing increases of $29 million and $98 million respectively over the same periods in 2009. The growth in Adjusted EBITDA was a result of stronger revenue and lower cash operating costs.

Cash earnings per share(3) for 2010 was $4.64. Since the company emerged from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 with a new capital structure, the full year earnings per diluted share and prior year cash earnings per share are not meaningful.

"We are extremely pleased with the excellent revenue and profit we generated for our shareholders in 2010, especially given the company’s financial restructuring earlier in the year, " said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO, Six Flags. "Our success in 2010 is directly attributable to our focused strategy and excellent execution by our employees. We are extremely well-positioned as we enter the 2011 season."

After adjusting for consistent reporting for the Lodge in 2009 and 2010, cash operating expenses declined $13 million or 12 percent in the fourth quarter driven by an ongoing focus on cost elimination. On a comparable basis, for the full year 2010, operating expenses declined $36 million or 6 percent from the prior year.

Due to the seasonality of the business, Free Cash Flow(4) was a negative $22 million in the fourth quarter with Capital Spending and Interest payments offsetting positive Adjusted EBITDA of $22 million. For the full year 2010, the company generated $128 million in Free Cash Flow–an increase of $117 million over 2009 due to higher Adjusted EBITDA of $98 million, lower interest expense and lower capital spending.

The company registered 3.1 million guests in the fourth quarter 2010, a 19 percent increase in attendance due to the success of both its October "Fright Fest" and December "Holiday in the Park" offerings, while full-year attendance of 24.3 million guests grew 4 percent compared to 2009. Per capita guest spending in the fourth quarter 2010 of $39.75 increased $0.57 or nearly 2 percent, and increased to $40.18, a 4 percent or $1.55 increase for the full year.

Net Debt(5) at December 31, 2010 was $784 million compared to $2, 242 million at December 31, 2009.

Conference Call

The company will host a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2010 financial results. The teleconference can be accessed live by dialing 1-866-516-4937 in the United States or +1-763-416-8838 from outside the United States and requesting conference ID # 43918488 or the Six Flags Earnings Call.

To hear a replay of the call, dial 1-800-642-1687 or +1-706-645-9291 through March 15, 2011. The call is also available via webcast on the investor relations page of the company’s Web site at www.sixflags.com/investors.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world’s largest regional theme park company with 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company’s flagship location, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2011.

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