Merlin records revenue increase despite difficult 2016 trading conditions
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Merlin records revenue increase despite difficult 2016 trading conditions

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Merlin+Entertainments'>Merlin Entertainments has revealed its end of year results, with £1.43bn (US$1.76bn, €1.66bn) in revenue capping off a strong year for the operator despite having to navigate some choppy waters.

The operator recorded growth of 11.7 per cent year-on-year, up from 2015’s figures of £1.28bn (US$1.57bn, €1.49bn), which were heavily affected by the fallout of the Smiler crash at Alton Towers. Profits were also up by 3.6 per cent from 2015’s £291m (US$357.5m, €339.5m) to 2016’s £302m (US$371m, €352m).

Merlin CEO Nick Varney highlighted difficult market conditions for Merlin’s visitor attractions in Floridaas well as a “number of headwinds” in 2016, including pre-opening costs related to Legoland developments in Japan and Korea and a £5m fine incurred in relation to the Smiler accident. Merlin also noted improved visitation for Alton Towers and strong performances from its other parks.

“Despite a number of headwinds in 2016, including a difficult market for visitor attractions in Florida, we are pleased with the progress made in the US, generating revenue of £404m (US$496m, €471m) from our North American attractions up from £336m (US$413m, €392m) in 2015,” said Varney.

“We opened our 100th Midway attraction, a new Legoland Discovery Centre in Michigan, and visitors to Madame Tussauds in New York will have enjoyed seeing their favorite Ghostbusters characters and sets from the film up close and personal in a one-of-a-kind experience.

“The roll out of new Midway attractions will continue in 2017, as we open Madame Tussauds Nashville – our first-ever attraction centered around music stars, and a Legoland Discovery Center in Philadelphia.”

Merlin also has ambitious plans for its Legoland brand in 2017, with the US launch of its 166 chalet Beach Resort at Legoland Florida, and launch of new Lego Batman and Ninjago-themed products and features to coincide with release of the two Lego movies out this year. The operator is also exploring opportunities for further Legoland Parks in North America, including the US$500m (€470m, £401.7m) Legoland New York development in Goshen.

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Merlin Entertainments has revealed its end of year results, with £1.43bn (US$1.76bn, €1.66bn) in revenue capping off a strong year for the operator despite having to navigate some choppy waters.
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