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16 October 2018

Merlin magic returns

Madame Tussauds, London Dungeons and other city-based attractions owned by Merlin Entertainments are showing signs of recovery from a decline in visitors following terrorist attacks in the capital in 2017.
 
The Dorset-headquartered theme park operator said forecasts remain in line with expectations in its trading statement for the 40 weeks ending 6th October 2018, which includes the key summer season.
 
Chief executive officer Nick Varney said: "The impact of terror attacks which adversely affected performance from early 2017 has started to abate and we have seen early signs of recovery in the London tourism market over the summer.”
 
Elsewhere within the organisation, the summer sunshine also provided a boost as organic revenue in its Resort Theme Parks division, which includes Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures, rose by 9%. Merlin Entertainments said this was supported by the good weather in Northern Europe as well as investment into new attractions including the new Wicker Man rollercoaster at Alton Towers and Peppa Pig Land at Gardaland, Italy and Heide Park, Germany.
 
Organic growth in its LEGOLAND Parks division was up 6.4%, driven by Legoland Japan and the continued rollout of accommodation, but this was offset by a 0.3% decline in like-for-like revenue.
 
Stephen Wolstenhulme, Head of Office at investment management and stockbroking firm Redmayne Bentley’s office in Ashley Cross, Poole, said: “Performance is in line with expectations and the outlook for 2018 is unchanged, with UK resorts performing well over the summer, and the Merlin magic starting to return to London markets.
 
“That said, there is still a note of caution in the statement over cost pressures, with labour costs rising globally, in addition to the National Living Wage in Britain. This could squeeze margins come the full-year results. The group has reaffirmed its commitment to its Productivity Agenda, which aims to make its back office systems and technology more efficient, but its benefits are not expected to be fully realised until after 2019.
 
“But the underlying market fundamentals remain strong and I await the performance for the key Halloween and Christmas periods with interest. As long as Merlin retains a diverse range of attractions that continue to delight tourists all over the globe, there is still a world of opportunity out there.”
 
Ends
 
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Notes to Editors
Redmayne Bentley has a full range of services, from investment management services suitable for different life stages, through to traditional stockbroking, dealing with advice and tax efficient investments.
Please note, investments and income arising from them can fall as well as rise in value and you may lose some or all of the amount you have invested. Please note that this article is for information only and does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell Merlin Entertainments.
 
 
Merlin magic returns
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