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SeaWorld cuts costs to fight falling visitor numbers

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 9:33
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Troubled SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) is to bring in an aggressive cost-cutting strategy as it looks to reverse year-on-year falls in profit and revenue, as well as declining visitor numbers.

The company has launched a new cost-cutting plan to try and reduce costs by US$65mln and is targeting US$40mln in net savings by the end of 2018.

The programme was announced as the entertainment group missed Wall Street expectations with its third quarter results.

SeaWorld posted revenues of US$485.3mln in the three months to September, against US$496.9mln for the same period a year earlier.

Net income came in at US$65.7mln – or US$0.77 per diluted share. That compares to net income of US$98mln, or US$1.14 per share, last year.

Customer numbers didn’t fare much better.

Attendance slipped 0.4% year-on-year to 8.3mln, with adverse weather – such as hurricane Hermine – partly to blame.

SeaWorld also said that its Orlando-based attractions continue to be hit by falling guest numbers from Latin America, although it thinks this problem is gradually easing.

At the end of summer it announced plans for a new virtual reality ride as well as several other changes as it looks to move away from its controversial ‘Shamu’ killer whale shows.

The stock has plunged more than 28% as high-profile documents such as Blackfish continue to hamper the company’s image.

Shares were up 4% to US$14.70.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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