SeaWorld announces positive 1st quarter 2018 results


It’s a day always filled with anticipation, and nervousness. The SeaWorld 1st quarter results for 2018 have been revealed…is it another prophecy of doom and gloom?

Actually no.

There’s a few rays of sunshine in the first quarter report of 2018, a first in over a year. The report sees an increase in both revenue and attendance, which is a much needed win for SeaWorld. The biggest?

Attendance is up almost 15%. That’s freaking huge, especially after the last quarter report had attendance down by 2.7%, and 5.5% overall for 2017.

It’s worth noting that since the last report, CEO Joel Manby stepped down from his position.

Here’s the full stats:

Total revenue increased by $30.8 million or 16.5% to $217.2 million from the first quarter of 2017. Attendance increased by 0.4 million or 14.9% to 3.2 million guests from the first quarter of 2017. There was a net loss over the first quarter of $62.8 million, compared to a net loss of $61.1 million in the first quarter of 2017. Net loss includes approximately $21.5 million of pre-tax expenses associated with separation-related costs and a legal settlement accrual in the first quarter of 2018. The Company typically incurs a net loss in the first quarter because only five of its 12 parks are open for the full quarter.

“We are happy about the progress we made in the first quarter and the continued positive results we are seeing year-to-date in April and are laser focused on continuing to execute as we enter the peak summer season,” said John Reilly, Interim Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. “Our first quarter results were mainly driven by our new marketing and communications initiatives, the anticipation and receptivity of our new rides, attractions and events and new promotional pricing strategies.  Attendance also benefited from the earlier timing of the Easter holiday in 2018.  Despite this strong start to the year, we know we have significant opportunity for further improvement.  In addition to positive attendance trends, we also saw an over 10% increase in season pass sales revenue and an increase in total revenue per capita driven by a 6.4% increase in in-park per capita spending.”

“As we think about 2018, we are encouraged by the positive year-to-date results through April for attendance, season pass sales and total revenue, despite unfavorable weather in some of our key markets that negatively impacted attendance and limited operating days in some of our parks,” continued Reilly.  “We are driving additional attendance, revenue and Adjusted EBITDA through our enhanced communications activities, the anticipation and receptivity of our new rides, attractions and events, more focused operational execution, improved pricing strategies and a relentless focus on efficiencies.  As a reminder, this year we have one of the most compelling line-ups we have ever had of new rides, attractions and events across our parks.  We have Electric Eel in San Diego and Infinity Falls in Orlando still to be opened; we have our one-of-a-kind Sesame Parade in San Diego and still to launch in San Antonio; and this summer we have our award winning Electric Ocean event coming to each of our SeaWorld parks and our Summer Nights event coming to each of our Busch Gardens parks.  As we stated in February, we expect to deliver the remainder of our previously announced $40.0 million in total net cost savings and the additional $25.0 million of cost savings we announced in late 2017 by the end of 2018.  We believe we have significant scope to improve the financial performance of this Company and with our biggest quarters still ahead of us we believe we are well-positioned to make real progress towards that goal in 2018.”

While there is still work to do, and improvements to be made, it’s a strong start to the year for SeaWorld. Moving forward, the company definitely needs to keep the momentum going with their amazing events and keep adding attractions that people want, and that do not close after a few months of operation.

Keep it going SeaWorld!

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