Share Prices & Company Research

Press Release

01 March 2018

Global tourists enjoy Merlin magic

Poole-based tourist attraction operator Merlin Entertainments has today (1st March 2018) hailed a record number of international visitors despite a spate of terror attacks and poor weather in Europe during 2017.

The FTSE 250 organisation reported a 9.5% rise in core earnings during 2017 and saw 66 million visitors to its theme parks and resorts all over the world, as tourists from “emerging middle classes” sought to travel and seek new experiences.

The company said pre-tax profits were up 4.8% to £271m during the year to 30th December 2017. While revenues increased 11.6% to £1.6bn, growth was less than 1% excluding new openings and advantageous currency effects.

The group said, following a review of its approach to capital allocation and areas where performance has been below expectations, it would shift investment away from its Midway division, which includes Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life attractions, moving the money into the development of its new hotels instead.

Stephen Wolstenhulme, Head of Office at the Bournemouth/Poole office of investment management and stockbroking firm Redmayne Bentley, said: “Merlin’s share price has been on something of a rollercoaster over recent years. Investors will be well aware of the impact of last year’s terror attacks on the company, as its share price fell 20 per cent in one day following its trading update of in October last year and, in December, it dropped out of the FTSE 100. Indeed, the events of last year have continued to impact the company’s fortunes, as despite the increase in global visitors, the number of visitors to its London attractions, which include the London Eye and London Dungeon, was down 17%.

“However, today’s update is optimistic, with the company confident in its strategy and long-term future. This bodes well for forthcoming years, and the market seems to have received today’s update well, as shares were up almost 12 per cent at around 8.30am today.”

Please remember, investments and income arising from them can fall in value and you may lose some or all of the amount you have invested. Past performance and forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future results or performance. Our view does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell the shares of Merlin Entertainments.
Global tourists enjoy Merlin magic
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