October 10, 2018

SeaWorld Reports Summer Attendance Spike

Free beer might turn out to be just the ticket for SeaWorldÕs success.
Nearly two months after an executive told analysts that a summertime beer promotion at Florida parks had been Òpopular with our guests,Ó SeaWorld Entertainment revealed that attendance for the third quarter soared 10 percent year-over-year.

The company provided a preliminary look at some financial results late Monday afternoon in connection with what it described as a potential debt refinancing transaction. In addition to SeaWorld locations in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego, the companyÕs portfolio includes Busch Gardens and Sesame Place parks.

The 10 percent increase in attendance represented about 700,000 guests, SeaWorld said in a statement. Revenue for the quarter is expected to increase by about $41 million compared to last year, or 9 percent.

For the first nine months of the year, the company expects attendance to be up 1.4 million visitors, or 9 percent, while revenue is expected to increase by $90 million, or 9 percent.

Leading into the summer, the theme park operator had reported positive trends: Attendance increased nearly 5 percent to 6.4 million visitors in the second quarter, and revenue was up nearly 5 percent to about $392 million. The company reported a profit of nearly $23 million, up from a loss of nearly $176 million in the second quarter of last year.

Executives said Òstrategic pricing strategiesÓ were driving home the companyÕs value proposition, though the effort led to lower per capita admission.

But any increase in attendance is good news for the company, which has struggled to move past harsh criticism over its handling of captive orcas. Last month, SeaWorld agreed to pay a $4 million settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission over fraud charges related to public statements made in the aftermath of the Blackfish documentary.

Copyright 2018 Skift. All rights reserved. From https://www.skift.com.
By Hannah Sampson, Skift.

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