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Pandemic resurgence as SeaWorld soars with record results in first quarter | Planet Attractions
     

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Pandemic resurgence as SeaWorld soars with record results in first quarter

Visitation and revenue soared for SeaWorld in the first three months of the year, with the most visitors in Q1 since 2013 and record all-time revenue for the period




New additions such as Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay helped attendance to surge at SeaWorld’s parks   Credit: Busch Gardens

SeaWorld visitation soared in the first three months of 2022, with 3.4 million visitors coming to its parks - an increase of 1.2 million people for the same period in 2021.

Revenue also rose sharply, with SeaWorld reporting a total of US$270.7m (€255.35m, £215.5m) for the first quarter compared to US$98.8m (€93.2m, £78.7m) in 2021 - an increase of 57.5% year-on-year.

While the first quarter is traditionally quiet for theme park operators owing to reduced operations based on seasonality, SeaWorld reported the smallest net loss for the quarter in company history, with a total of US$9m (€8.5m, £7.2m). This also represents an improvement of US$35.9m (€33.9m, £28.6m) or 80% on 2021’s figures and a pre-pandemic improvement of US$28m (€26.4m, £22.3m) or 75.7% compared to 2019.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter came in at a record US$65.9m (€62.2m, £52.5m) - an increase of US$40.8m (€38.5m, £32.5m) representing a 161.8% increase year-on-year.

SeaWorld made a number of major additions to its parks in recent months, which will have helped the income surge.

In February, the operator launched the Icebreaker rollercoaster at SeaWorld Orlando, while in March, it debuted a host of new attractions, including the Tidal Surge screaming swing at SeaWorld San Antonio, the Iron Gwazi rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the Reef Plunge waterslide at Aquatica Orlando, the Emperor rollercoaster SeaWorld San Diego, the Pantheon rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and the Riptide Race waterslide at Aquatica San Antonio. In April, Big Bird's Tour Bus ride also opened at Sesame Place Philadelphia.

"While our first-quarter performance was strong and continued our momentum from 2021, we have scope for further recovery as it still does not yet reflect a normalised operating environment,” said SeaWorld CEO Marc Swanson.

“In particular, international and group related visitation is improving but was not yet back to pre-Covid levels and we have opportunities to improve staffing levels to capture even more in-park spending demand.

"We’re also thrilled by our guests' reception to the new rides and attractions we've opened to date and we are particularly encouraged by the early reviews and results from our new Sesame Place San Diego park which is our first new park since 2013.

"Finally, as we have demonstrated, we have systematically improved our business model starting before and during the pandemic period and we expect these improvements to continue to be reflected in our operating and financial results. While we still have opportunities to take advantage of areas where we can certainly improve, based on the work we have done to date, the work we are currently undergoing, and the specific plans we have for the future, we are confident we can continue to deliver additional operational and financial improvements that we expect will lead to meaningful increases in shareholder value.”


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Pandemic resurgence as SeaWorld soars with record results in first quarter | Planet Attractions
news

Pandemic resurgence as SeaWorld soars with record results in first quarter

Visitation and revenue soared for SeaWorld in the first three months of the year, with the most visitors in Q1 since 2013 and record all-time revenue for the period




New additions such as Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay helped attendance to surge at SeaWorld’s parks   Credit: Busch Gardens

SeaWorld visitation soared in the first three months of 2022, with 3.4 million visitors coming to its parks - an increase of 1.2 million people for the same period in 2021.

Revenue also rose sharply, with SeaWorld reporting a total of US$270.7m (€255.35m, £215.5m) for the first quarter compared to US$98.8m (€93.2m, £78.7m) in 2021 - an increase of 57.5% year-on-year.

While the first quarter is traditionally quiet for theme park operators owing to reduced operations based on seasonality, SeaWorld reported the smallest net loss for the quarter in company history, with a total of US$9m (€8.5m, £7.2m). This also represents an improvement of US$35.9m (€33.9m, £28.6m) or 80% on 2021’s figures and a pre-pandemic improvement of US$28m (€26.4m, £22.3m) or 75.7% compared to 2019.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter came in at a record US$65.9m (€62.2m, £52.5m) - an increase of US$40.8m (€38.5m, £32.5m) representing a 161.8% increase year-on-year.

SeaWorld made a number of major additions to its parks in recent months, which will have helped the income surge.

In February, the operator launched the Icebreaker rollercoaster at SeaWorld Orlando, while in March, it debuted a host of new attractions, including the Tidal Surge screaming swing at SeaWorld San Antonio, the Iron Gwazi rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, the Reef Plunge waterslide at Aquatica Orlando, the Emperor rollercoaster SeaWorld San Diego, the Pantheon rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and the Riptide Race waterslide at Aquatica San Antonio. In April, Big Bird's Tour Bus ride also opened at Sesame Place Philadelphia.

"While our first-quarter performance was strong and continued our momentum from 2021, we have scope for further recovery as it still does not yet reflect a normalised operating environment,” said SeaWorld CEO Marc Swanson.

“In particular, international and group related visitation is improving but was not yet back to pre-Covid levels and we have opportunities to improve staffing levels to capture even more in-park spending demand.

"We’re also thrilled by our guests' reception to the new rides and attractions we've opened to date and we are particularly encouraged by the early reviews and results from our new Sesame Place San Diego park which is our first new park since 2013.

"Finally, as we have demonstrated, we have systematically improved our business model starting before and during the pandemic period and we expect these improvements to continue to be reflected in our operating and financial results. While we still have opportunities to take advantage of areas where we can certainly improve, based on the work we have done to date, the work we are currently undergoing, and the specific plans we have for the future, we are confident we can continue to deliver additional operational and financial improvements that we expect will lead to meaningful increases in shareholder value.”


 



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