Sign up United Kingdom
Proactive Investors - Run By Investors For Investors

Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments sees shares leap on solid 2017 results, positive 2018 outlook

Merlin said revenue growth from Legoland Parks was strong, rising by 25% at actual rates and by 4.7% on a like-for-like basis to £609.0mln
The group said this was driven by the opening of Legoland Japan and a full year contribution from Legoland Dubai

Merlin Entertainments PLC (LON:MERL) saw its share leap 10% on Thursday after the Legoland and Alton Towers owner reported in-line results for 2017 and said underlying expectations for 2018 are positive.

The FTSE 250-listed attractions operator saw its underlying earnings (EBITDA) rise by 9.5% to £474mln for 2017, in-line with the company's previous guidance.

READ: Merlin Entertainments shares rise after US activist investor takes stake

The firm's pre-tax profit increased by 4.8% to £271mln, up from £259mln in 2016, as revenue rose by 12% at actual currency rates and 6.6% at constant currency to £1.59bn, from £1.43bn in 2016, with like-for-like revenue growth 0.7%.

Merlin said revenue growth from Legoland Parks was strong, rising by 25% at actual rates and by 4.7% on a like-for-like basis to £609.0mln, while EBITDA grew by 22% at reported rates to £230.0mln.

The group said this was driven by the opening of Legoland Japan and a full year contribution from Legoland Dubai.

The firm's Midway Attractions business saw 2017 revenue increase by 5.7% at actual currency to £656mln, but it fell by 1.2% on a like-for-like basis as Merlin opened six new Midway attractions during the year.

The group also said revenue growth slowed due to terror attacks in the UK, particularly affecting London attractions such as Madame Tussauds.

Underlying expectations for 2018 positive

Merlin said overall trading since the year-end in a traditionally quieter period has been in line and although foreign exchange may provide a headwind to 2018 results, underlying expectations are positive.

The group's chief executive Nick Varney said: "Merlin continues to evolve and, with attractive market fundamentals and the right strategy in place, we remain highly confident in the long-term prospects for the business."

The firm is to pay a final dividend of 5.0p, bringing its total payout for the year to 7.4p, ahead 4.2% on 2016.

In late morning trading, Merlin shares were up 10.3% at 375p..

View full MERL profile View Profile

Merlin Entertainments Timeline

Related Articles

ZoomAway Travel Inc embracing blockchain, which is set to push out middle man in hospitality and act
January 11 2018
The firm plans to begin rolling out cryptocurrency payments into its white label and registration management system (RMS) clients
Oil pollution
July 02 2018
A name change might be in order if PCG pulls the trigger on two investments it is mulling
Festival crowd
August 20 2018
There could be a potential uplift of in both revenue and underlying earnings if the firm manages to capture a slice of the UK's 4mln festival-goers

No investment advice

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable or advisable for any specific person. You further understand that none of the information providers or their affiliates will advise you personally concerning the nature, potential, advisability, value or suitability of any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, investment strategy, or other matter.

You understand that the Site may contain opinions from time to time with regard to securities mentioned in other products, including company related products, and that those opinions may be different from those obtained by using another product related to the Company. You understand and agree that contributors may write about securities in which they or their firms have a position, and that they may trade such securities for their own account. In cases where the position is held at the time of publication and such position is known to the Company, appropriate disclosure is made. However, you understand and agree that at the time of any transaction that you make, one or more contributors may have a position in the securities written about. You understand that price and other data is supplied by sources believed to be reliable, that the calculations herein are made using such data, and that neither such data nor such calculations are guaranteed by these sources, the Company, the information providers or any other person or entity, and may not be complete or accurate.

From time to time, reference may be made in our marketing materials to prior articles and opinions we have published. These references may be selective, may reference only a portion of an article or recommendation, and are likely not to be current. As markets change continuously, previously published information and data may not be current and should not be relied upon.

© Proactive Investors 2018

Proactive Investors Limited, trading as “Proactiveinvestors United Kingdom”, is Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered in England with Company Registration number 05639690. Group VAT registration number 872070825 FCA Registration number 559082. You can contact us here.

Market Indices, Commodities and Regulatory News Headlines copyright © Morningstar. Data delayed 15 minutes unless otherwise indicated. Terms of use