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Attendance boost helps Universal increase earnings at its theme parks

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Business continues to boom for Universal's theme park division, with the operator reporting revenue and earnings increases in its latest financial report.

Universal reported Q2 revenues of US$1.5bn (€1.34bn, £1.2bn) – an increase of 7.5 per cent year-on-year. The operator said this was due to increased attendance, helped by the timing of spring holidays and increases in guest spending.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increased 3.8 per cent to US$590m (€528m, £473m) in Q2, with increased revenue partly offset by higher operating expenses, including costs to support new attractions such as the Harry Potter-themed rollercoaster, Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure in Orlando.

Six months revenue to the end of June 2019 amounted to US$2.7bn (€2.42bn, £2.16bn) – an increase of 3.7 per cent compared to 2018 – with EBITDA increasing by 2.2 per cent to US$1.1bn (€980m, £880m).

NBC Universal's overall results, which also include its cable networks, broadcast television and filmed entertainment, saw a drop in Q2 revenue to US$8.2bn (€7.34bn, £6.57bn), a decline of 0.8 per cent, while EBITDA increased 8.1 per cent to US$2.3bn (€2.06bn, £1.84bn).

"These results were driven by higher attendance, aided by the timing of spring break vacations and higher guest spending," said said Michael Cavanagh, senior EVP and CFO of Universal's parent company Comcast.

"We're excited about the future of our parks business as we have a great runway in coming years with Nintendo World opening in Japan in 2020, Universal Beijing opening in 2021 and other significant opportunities to come soon."

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Business continues to boom for Universal's theme park division, with the operator reporting revenue and earnings increases in its latest financial report.
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