Sunday, October 2, 2022

SeaWorld Explores Partnership for Middle East Parks

[quote]We have worked diligently with our partner to identify the best theme park concepts and potential locations in the region and are moving forward into the next stage of the project.” — Jim Atchison, President and CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment[/quote]

Orlando, FL, USA (May 14, 2014) /PRNewswire/ — SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014.

“The first quarter, which historically represents only 12%-15% of our full year attendance, came in as expected with the shift of Easter and the Spring Break holiday period into the second quarter.  Based on the successful launch of our 50th Anniversary celebration, a strong mix of new attractions yet to open, the ongoing benefits of our pricing and yield management strategies, and a strong start to the second quarter, we remain on track to deliver our fourth consecutive year of record financial results,” Jim Atchison, President and Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. said today. “As a result, we are reaffirming our fiscal 2014 revenue guidance to be in the range of $1,490 million to $1,520 million and our Adjusted EBITDA guidance to be in the range of $450 million to $465 million.”

“Our business development efforts are moving forward,” Jim Atchison continued. “The Company recently entered into an exclusive six-month Memorandum of Understanding to assess the viability of a multi-park development in the Middle East with a partner who has an established track record of opening and operating world-class attractions, and to finalize the terms of the agreement.”

“In our media business, I am excited that our Sea Rescue television series, which has been seen by over 141 million viewers since its debut in 2012, was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Children’s Series by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences,” Jim Atchison added.

For the first quarter of 2014, the Company generated revenue of $212.3 million, a decrease of $26.3 million, or 11%, versus the first quarter of 2013. Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $15.8 million, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $11.1 million in the first quarter of 2013.  The Company reported a net loss of $49.4 million, or a loss of $0.56 per diluted share, for the three months ended March 31, 2014.  Adjusted Net Loss was $49.1 million, or a loss of $0.56 per diluted share. In the first quarter of 2013, the Company generated a net loss of $40.4 million, or a loss of $0.49 per diluted share. Free Cash Flow was a deficit of $33.8 million for the first quarter of 2014 compared to a deficit of $8.1 million in the first quarter of 2013 primarily due to an increase of $14.5 million in capital expenditures related to future attractions.

The decrease in revenue was primarily driven by a 13.0% decrease in attendance, partially offset by a total revenue per capita increase of 2.2% from $68.19 in the first quarter of 2013 to an all-time record of $69.72 in the first quarter of 2014. 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. 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.

Admission per capita, defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance, increased by 3.6% from$43.56 in the first quarter of 2013 to $45.12 in the first quarter of 2014 primarily as a result of higher ticket pricing and the mix of ticket products sold. In-park per capita spending, calculated as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance, remained relatively flat at $24.60 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to $24.63 in the prior year quarter.

On March 4, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.20 per share, which was paid on April 1, 2014, to all common stockholders of record at the close of business on March 20, 2014.

On April 9, 2014, selling stockholders affiliated with The Blackstone Group L.P. completed an underwritten secondary offering of 17,250,000 shares of the Company’s common stock, including 2,250,000 shares that were offered and sold by the selling stockholders pursuant to the full exercise of the underwriters’ option to purchase additional shares. The selling stockholders received all of the net proceeds from the secondary offering and no shares were sold by the Company. The Company incurred approximately $0.7 million in expenses related to this secondary offering in the first quarter of 2014.  Concurrently with the closing of the secondary offering, the Company repurchased 1,750,000 shares of its common stock directly from the selling stockholders in a private, non-underwritten transaction. These repurchased shares will be held by the Company as treasury stock at a cost of approximately $50.7 million.

On May 13, 2014, the Company’s Board of Directors approved a 5% increase to the quarterly cash dividend and declared a cash dividend of $0.21 per share, payable on July 1, 2014, to all common stockholders of record at the close of business on June 20, 2014.

NOTE: Photo is of model of Worlds of Discovery, a Busch Entertainment Corporation project announced in 2008 for Dubai’s Palm Jebel Ali.  Worlds of Discovery, at the apex of the Palm, would have featured SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Discovery Cove, and Aquatica parks, along with a retail district and resort hotels.  The project was discontinued in February 2009.  As of date of posting, the Palm Jebel Ali remains undeveloped.

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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