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2022 Financial Report shows Merlin Entertainments back to pre-pandemic performance

2022 Financial Report shows Merlin Entertainments back to pre-pandemic performance
June 30, 2023

Global attractions giant Merlin Entertainments financial report for 2022 has revealed that the group’s revenues grew 59% and visitation rose 30% in the last year - performance above its pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

Welcoming 56 million visitors to its attractions during the year, revenues at the group’s Midway Attractions and LEGOLAND Parks increased 83% and 72%, driven by new attractions, return of international tourism and guest spending.

Operating more than 140 global attractions, theme parks, hotels and resorts across 24 countries

and four continents, the group’s strong growth in revenues and profits for the year ending 31st December 2022 are described as being “primarily due to robust consumer demand, elevated revenues per visitor, the return of international tourism to gateway cities such as London, and significant recovery across Merlin’s Asia attractions.”

The strong performance of the group - with revenues rising 59% to US$2.53 billion - comes despite COVID restrictions having continued in China in 2022 and lower overall attendance.

Commenting on the results, Merlin Chief Executive, Scott M. O’Neil advised “in 2022 Merlin returned to the pre-pandemic trajectory of growth, as we welcomed 56 million guests into our 140+ attractions in the 24 countries across the globe in which we operate. The resilience, commitment, and talent of our 30,000+ employees shone through the recovery and continue to be the backbone of our success.

“Combining Merlin’s global operational excellence and the world-class creative execution of our Merlin Magic Makers with the growing roster of iconic brands we are trusted to bring to life, including LEGO, Jumanji, Ferrari, Marvel, Peppa Pig, and Gruffalo & Friends, continues to drive our strategy. We are working ambitiously to build more meaningful businesses and increase our presence for tourists in the most important cities in the world.

“The diversification of our attractions as resorts continues to evolve, our accommodation portfolio of nearly 5,500 rooms is proving to be a sustainable advantage in extending the stay of our guests. Although international tourism numbers are returning to pre-pandemic levels at different rates, domestic travellers seeking more connection and experiences with family and friends continue to enjoy the immersive and joyful escapism of our city attractions, resort theme parks, and LEGOLANDs through day visits, overnight, and short break stays.

“Accommodation revenue was up approximately 55% in 2022, as guests chose to stay in our creative offerings, including treehouses, castles, and log cabins from California to London, and we are confident our themed accommodation will be popular at our flagship LEGOLAND Resort being built in Shanghai.

“Since joining Merlin at the end of 2022, I have had the pleasure of visiting most of our attractions around the world and am increasingly excited and more confident than ever in our leadership depth, ambition, strategy and focus to continue to make more memories, bring more happiness and spread joy to people in more places than anyone else in the world.”

The recovery looks set to continue, with Merlin reporting Q1 2023 revenue and visitors numbers up over 30% on the same period in 2022.

Merlin's Scott M. O’Neil is interviewed in Australasian Leisure Management issue 157, explaining his plans for the Australian market. Click here to access a copy.

Images: Merlin Entertainments.

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15th November 2022 - Merlin Entertainments appoints Scott O’Neil as new Chief Executive

8th November 2022 - Merlin Entertainments launches its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan

17th August 2022 - Legoland announces significant investments for Malaysia while also investigating ride malfunction in Germany

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