'I will help SeaWorld realise its full potential', says new CEO Gus Antorcha
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'I will help SeaWorld realise its full potential', says new CEO Gus Antorcha

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SeaWorld's new CEO Gus Antorcha has said he plans to help the organisation reach its "full potential", after several years of turmoil.

Under his predecessor Joel Manby, the company had been undergoing a dramatic restructuring both behind the scenes and in its parks. This included introducing a five-point plan focused on “Experiences That Matter” – an extensive rebranding effort that included the elimination of theatrical orca shows and the promise that the operator’s current generation of orcas would be its last.

These ongoing efforts are slowly proving to be a success, with the once-floundering SeaWorld's end of year results for 2018 showing an attendance increase of 1.8 million visitors and earnings before income, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at US$401.3m (€353.1m, £302.9m) – a US$103.9m (€96.2m, £82.5m) increase over the previous year.

"We're confident in the direction we're heading and are encouraged by the results we’re seeing in our business," said Antorcha, speaking during an earnings call.

"Our confidence extends to our long-term view and with the significantly improved financial performance we strongly believe this company can deliver over the next two years and beyond."

For SeaWorld's plans going forward, Antorcha said the company's strategy would be unchanged: "We have an exceptional business model. We're focused on improving our execution with more effective pricing strategies, enhanced marketing and communications initiatives, as well as the introduction of compelling new rides, attractions and events in every park every year. We'll continue to identify and execute on cost and capital efficiency initiatives that we expect will contribute meaningfully to improve margins and profitability."

With SeaWorld seemingly having stemmed the tide of its financial struggles in recent years related to the Blackfish controversy, Antorcha says the company is looking forward.

"Together the team and I have a clear focus on continuing to improve execution, enhance the guest experience and grow revenue, profitability and free cash flow.

"I'm truly excited to be working with this talented group of people to enhance and accelerate these efforts and help realise the full potential of this business."

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SeaWorld's new CEO Gus Antorcha has said he plans to help the organisation reach its "full potential", after several years of turmoil.
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