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New brands and resort theme parks drive Merlin Entertainments growth
Global attractions operator Merlin Entertainments’ latest results show that its revenues jumped 8.3% in the 40 weeks of trading to 6th October this year.
The trading update shows organic revenue growth fuelled by a bounceback from the group’s resort theme parks, but showed at the company’s eight Legoland parks.
Merlin, which is also the biggest owner of visitor attractions in Australia and New Zealand, saw 4.7% organic revenue growth on the same period last year, driven primarily by new business development. The company’s resort theme parks saw an organic revenue growth of 9% - thanks to product investment and favourable weather during the northern hemisphere summer.
In addition, the company’s Midway Attractions launched two new brands - Peppa Pig World of Play in Shanghai, China and The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham in the UK – while its accommodation revenue grew by 27.7%.
Its LEGOLAND Parks saw organic revenue growth of 6.4% driven by the full year contribution of LEGOLAND Japan and the roll out of more accommodation. LEGOLAND New York is on schedule for a 2020 opening.
Commenting on the performance, Merlin Entertainments Chief Executive, Nick Varney advised “group trading has been in line with expectations, with variances by Operating Group reflecting the diversified nature of the portfolio.
“Continued strong guest demand for our themed accommodation offering and the ongoing trend towards short breaks has driven 27.7% growth in accommodation revenue.
“The impact of terror attacks which adversely affected performance from early 2017 has started to abate and we have seen early signs of recovery in the London tourism market over the summer.”
Merlin also highlighted cost pressures, with tighter labour markets in many parts of the world adding to legislative changes such as the National Living Wage in Britain.
Speaking last week, Merlin Entertainments Australia and New Zealand Divisional Director Rob Smith predicted that that visitor numbers to Merlin’s local attractions for 2018 will be up by 3% to 4% over last year.
As reported by Travel Trends, Smith advised that Merlin is actively scouting further sites for another LegoLand Discovery Centre while the company is also interested in bringing its ‘Dungeons’ brand to Australia.
Smith is a speaker at Travel IQ - a new one-day conference exploring the business of tourism - being held at The Langham, Sydney on Wednesday 24th October.
Click here for more information on the Travel IQ conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.
Images: The Wild Flight aerial adventure at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo (top) and Merlin is looking to introduce its Dungeons brand into Australia (below).
12th October 2018 - Merlin Entertainments looks at Australian expansion
3rd August 2018 - Merlin Entertainments sees profits fall through first half of 2018
18th October 2017 - Merlin Entertainments performance impacted by terror fears
22nd July 2017 - Poor ticket sales see Legoland Japan reduce opening days
28th May 2017 - LEGOLAND Discovery Centre hosts first Adults Only night
14th January 2017 - Legoland waterpark opens in Dubai
27th April 2016 - Merlin Entertainments marks five years of operations in Australasia
3rd August 2015 - WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo launches new Wild Flight aerial adventure
16th September 2012 - Asia’s first Legoland opens in Malaysia
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