Merlin Entertainments’ September trading update has shown what has been described as a ‘disappointing year’ by some analysts.
Merlin’s Theme Parks division had a revenue decrease of 11.4%, however Legoland Parks and Midway Atttractions had mild increases of 2.6% and 6.7% respectively. Part of the reason for the sharp fall is a drop in consumer confidence following The Smiler incident in July this year, which led to two guests requiring leg amputations. Despite the performance, shareholders will receive dividends at a rate of 2.1 pence per share on 24 September this year.
Nick Varney, CEO of the Merlin group commented;
“The trends we reported at the half year have continued throughout the summer. The performance of our LEGOLAND Parks Operating Group has remained strong, with very positive guest satisfaction. However, this has been offset by the impact of reduced visitation across the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group, primarily at Alton Towers Resort, and Euro weakness impacting visitation at our London attractions.
“While near term challenges remain, the Group is making good overall progress on its growth strategy. We have significant new investments planned across the estate and are well placed to deliver these in 2016 and beyond.”
Jack Gordon will be on BBC Radio 4’s “You & Yours” programme to discuss Merlin Entertainments’ results on 17th September at 12.15pm.