Merlin set to announce 13% rise in profits

Merlin EntertainmentsMerlin Entertainments is set to announce a 13% rise in profits on Thursday, City of London analysts understand.

The Sunday Times is reporting that the British-owned operator of Alton Towers and Thorpe Park will announce £386 million in earnings.

The release of the company accounts will be the first publication of Merlin’s books since the company floated on the stock market last year.

Chief Executive Nick Varney is likely to announce around £1.8 billion in company turnover, which is widely expected to boost Merlin’s share price in London.

The figures represent Merlin’s total earnings worldwide, including those based in Europe, Asia and the United States.

A spokesman for Barclays financers said: “The industry has high barriers to entry, with a theme park costing about £200m, a scarcity of new sites and planning permission.

“Merlin’s barriers to entry are even higher due to the group’s portfolio of brands. We believe the estate would be almost impossible to replicate today.”

The Sunday Times report said that Varney’s personal stake in the company was worth £24 million at those close of share trading on Friday.