SeaWorld Entertainment just announced its Q1 financial results, and the numbers don’t look good.
The key problem is attendance which dropped 13.0%.
This caused revenue to fall to 11% year-over-year to $US212.3 million, which was worse than the $US215.1 million expected.
The company reported an adjust loss per share of $US0.56 which was much wider than the $US0.49 forecasted by analysts.
SeaWorld has been struggling to repair its public image in the wake of “Blackfish,” a CNN documentary that claims the amusement park’s captive orca whales are under immense psychological pressure which is turning them into killers.
Management didn’t blame the documentary explicitly for its weak traffic. Rather it focused on a calendar shift.
“Attendance in the first quarter was impacted by a shift in the timing of Easter into the second quarter of 2014, which caused a shift in the Spring Break holiday period for schools in many of the Company’s key source markets,” they said. “Attendance was also impacted by adverse weather, particularly above average precipitation in the Florida market as well as below average temperatures in the Texas market for the first quarter of 2014.”
As the company makes efforts to improve traffic, it continues to try get more business out of the folks who do come to its parks.
“Admission per capita, defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance, increased by 3.6% from $US43.56 in the first quarter of 2013 to $US45.12 in the first quarter of 2014 primarily as a result of higher ticket pricing and the mix of ticket products sold,” they said. “In-park per capita spending, calculated as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance, remained relatively flat at $US24.60 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to $US24.63 in the prior year quarter.”
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