Merlin Entertainments shares rise after 2017 results

Merlin Entertainments logo

Shares in theme park operator Merlin Entertainments closed up more than 9% following publication of the company’s 2017 preliminary financial results.

Revenue increased by 11.6%, to £1.59 billion during the year. Visitor numbers rose by 3.5%, to 66 million in the same period.

The company’s shares sharply fell in October, as it cited terrorism as a major factor on visitor numbers, and it today described its London operations as “remaining challenging”.

The latest surge in overall company growth was largely attributed to the good performance of Merlin’s Legoland operations.

The company this morning described a “continued recovery” of revenue at Alton Towers, following 2015’s Smiler accident severely affecting visitor numbers.

Guest satisfaction

The proportion of visitors stating that their experience represented value for money – recorded via touchscreen consoles at attractions – was reported as being higher than 96%.

Chief executive Nick Varney said: “A year that started well with positive momentum in almost every part of the Group was ultimately defined by the unprecedented spate of terror attacks in the UK and poor to extreme weather throughout the summer season in Europe.

“Despite this, thanks to the efforts of our extraordinary team, we have reported overall growth in revenue, profit and cash flow, welcoming 66 million visitors – our highest on record.”