Merlin boss encouraged by stock market boost

Nick VarneyMerlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney has said he is encouraged by a recent rise in successful company flotations on the stock market.

His business – which operates Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures – is widely expected to become a public company within 12 months.

It is expected to announce record profits of £260 million on Wednesday, with total takings in excess of £1 billion. The figures represent 12% and 10% rises respectively.

An initial public offering (IPO) for Merlin was scrapped in 2010 due to turmoil on the London Stock Exchange.

However, a number of companies have recently floated successfully, and this combined with Merlin’s continued double-digit growth suggests an IPO could happen as early as the final quarter of this year.

CEO Varney told the Daily Telegraph: “It is incredibly encouraging to see what’s been happening because the market has been closed for a long time, which is not good for companies or the London market.”