Merlin Entertainments delivers wizard results

Merlin Entertainments, owner of Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers and the London Eye, says group revenue increased by 16.1% in 2009 to £769m

London Eye

The company’s results for the year to December 26 2009 saw group revenue hit £769m.

In the UK, the company is likely to have benefitted from the “staycation” mentality that prevailed last year during the economic downturn. It also introduced a Merlin Annual Pass last year that has just been redesigned

Merlin Entertainments says that its result shave been helped by the opening of new rider and attractions and the development of destination positioning. It has just announced the development of Legoland Florida, aimed to be the biggest family tourist destination in the world.

Like-for-like revenue rose 12.9% to £720.2m and total visitor numbers rose 9.7% to 38.5m.

However, the company did abandon plans for a stock market flotation last month.

Chief executive Nick Varney says: “We are delighted with Merlin’s performance in 2009. In the midst of deep global recession we welcomed more than 3M more visitors to our attractions and recorded the ninth straight year of double digit percentage growth in historical EBITDA in our core business.

“These results demonstrate the resilience of our business model and are the product of continued investment in the business over the past decade.”

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