SeaWorld Entertainment Reports Strong Second Quarter

02:54 08/07/2018

Yesterday, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. SEAS  reported its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2018.

Total revenue increased by $18.2 million, or 4.9%, to $391.9 million from the second quarter of 2017, and attendance increased by 0.3 million, or 4.8%, to 6.4 million guests from the second quarter of 2017.

SeaWorld’s SEAS  net income was $22.7 million, compared to a net loss of $175.9 million in the second quarter of 2017. Net income for the second quarter of 2018 includes approximately $8.7 million of certain pre-tax expenses as discussed further below. Net loss in the second quarter of 2017 includes approximately $280.4 million of certain pre-tax expenses, including a non-cash goodwill impairment charge.

Adjusted EBITDA[1] was $117.6 million, an improvement of $13.4 million, or 12.9%, over the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA does not reflect certain add-back adjustments due to limitations in the Company's credit agreement.

"We are pleased with our strong second quarter financial results and the continued momentum we see in the business," said John Reilly, Interim Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. "The results were driven by our new strategic pricing strategies, new marketing and communications initiatives and the positive reception of our new rides, attractions and events. In addition, we continued to experience a double-digit increase in season pass sales revenue and an increase in total revenue per capita driven by a 6.5% increase in in-park per capita spending.  We are particularly pleased with our second quarter attendance growth, which more than offset the negative impacts from unfavorable weather across several of our markets in the quarter, and the earlier timing of the Easter holiday in 2018, which benefitted the first quarter at the expense of the second quarter." 

The Company believes the improved attendance results from a combination of factors including the Company's new pricing strategies, new marketing and communications initiatives and the anticipation and reception of new rides, attractions and events.  These factors were partially offset by the negative impacts from unfavorable weather in the quarter, and the earlier timing of the Easter holiday in 2018, which impacted the timing of spring break for a number of schools from the Company's key markets.  Revenue was positively impacted by the strong increases in attendance and in-park per capita spending (defined as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance) partially offset by lower admission per capita (defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance). The decline in admission per capita primarily results from the impact of new pricing strategies and visitation mix when compared to the second quarter of 2017. Adjusted EBITDA was positively impacted by increases in attendance, total revenue per capita and the impact of an increased focus on cost efficiencies and the realization of cost savings initiatives. The second quarter 2018 and 2017 Adjusted EBITDA calculations do not reflect certain add-back adjustments due to limitations in the Company's credit agreement.

CEO John Reilly added, ”As we enter the last few weeks of our peak summer season, we are encouraged that year-to-date results through July for attendance, season pass sales and total revenue have remained strong," continued Reilly.  "We are seeing growth in attendance and revenue as a result of our new pricing strategies, enhanced communications activities and strong operational execution.  In addition, our keen focus on cost savings and efficiencies is improving our margins.  We are pleased with the positive guest reception of our new rides, attractions and events across our parks.  Currently, our award winning Electric Ocean event has been in full swing at each of our SeaWorld parks and our Summer Nights event is operating at each of our Busch Gardens parks.  Looking ahead, we have our popular Halloween and Christmas events that we are confident will continue to drive further attendance growth.”

"As you know, we have been very focused on reducing unnecessary costs and finding ways to operate our business more efficiently. We have realized the remainder of the $40 million in cost savings we expected to achieve in 2018, have identified and are executing on $50 million of additional cost reductions and are actively working to find other opportunities where possible.  These cost reductions are throughout the enterprise and represent our continuing effort to more efficiently operate our business. We fully recognize the opportunities we have to significantly improve our operating margins and we are committed to those efforts. While our first six months results demonstrate solid progress, we know we have significant opportunity for further improvement.”

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) SEAS  is a leading theme park and entertainment company providing experiences that matter, and inspiring guests to protect animals and the wild wonders of our world. The Company is one of the world's foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company collectively cares for what it believes is one of the largest zoological collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of animals. The Company also rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals that are ill, injured, orphaned or abandoned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 31,000 animals in need over the last 50 years.  SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of recognized brands including SeaWorld, Busch Gardens®, Aquatica®, Sesame Place® and Sea Rescue®. Over its more than 50-year history, the Company has built a diversified portfolio of 12 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological collection. The Company's theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for its guests.

This article has been provided by a Chasing Markets contributor. All content submitted by this author represent their personal opinions, and should be considered as such for entertainment purpose only. All opinions expressed are those of the writer, and may not necessarily represent fact, opinions, or bias of Chasing Markets.
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