SeaWorld Promotes CEO, Announces Earnings

May 6, 2021, 10:06 AM · SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. has promoted its interim CEO, Marc Swanson, to that position on a permanent basis, the company announced today. SeaWorld also removed the "interim" from the title of its Chief Financial Officer, Elizabeth Castro Gulacsy.

"After careful consideration and working closely with Marc and Elizabeth in their interim roles over the past year, the Board of Directors is confident they are the right leaders for SeaWorld as we emerge from this pandemic and continue executing on our long-term strategic plan," Scott Ross, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Partner of Hill Path Capital said. "Over the past year, Marc and Elizabeth, alongside the Board, have continued to execute on the strategic initiatives we have been working on over the past several years and have taken the necessary decisive actions to position the Company for long-term success. We look forward to their continued leadership as we work together to emerge a stronger and more efficient company and realize the full, long term potential of this great company and its irreplaceable assets and brands."

SeaWorld also reported its first quarter financial results this morning, announcing attendance of 2.2 million guests across its parks in the three months ending March 31. That's a decline of 0.1 million guests, or 4.5%, from the first quarter of 2020 but a decline of 1.1 million guests or 33.7%, from the same period in 2019, which was not affected by the pandemic.

Overall, SeaWorld reported a net loss was $44.9 million on net revenue per capita of $77.63, up 17.2% from the same period one year ago, driven by 26.4% increase in in-park per capita guest spending. SeaWorld reported Net Cash Burn during the quarter of approximately $1.1 million per month when including deferred payments to vendors and that its deferred vendor balances were largely paid by the end of the quarter.

"Our first quarter events including new or expanded event days at some of our parks as well as several new or reimagined venues we launched during the quarter helped contribute to the increased guest spending," Swanson said. "We are excited to have experienced a robust Spring Break season across our parks including several days where our parks reached capacity limitations for the current operating environment. To be clear, we believe our attendance would've been notably higher, were it not for capacity limitations and closed parks.

"Attendance trends have improved relative to 2019 during the first quarter of 2021, which included a slight benefit from an earlier Easter/Spring Break period when compared to the first quarter of 2019. We are encouraged by our guests desire to visit and spend at our parks and believe this is a good indicator for expected demand during our peak summer season."

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Replies (7)

May 6, 2021 at 11:41 AM

You mean someone that's been working for the company for decades is doing a better job than some hotshot from another company or even another industry who knows nothing about the company culture and its problems? That's a shocker.

May 6, 2021 at 11:57 AM

BTW, I listened to the entire, 45-minute investors call, and no one asked about roller coaster opening dates. Sigh.

May 6, 2021 at 12:19 PM

Robert ... after a concerted test run with ice breaker, it seems everything has stopped and is in a weird sort of limbo, as is Gwazi ??

Not a clue as to what is going on.

The way it’s going, it seems the new drop tower and sling shot at Icon park will be open first !!

May 6, 2021 at 12:45 PM

The same goes with Pantheon, which was reportedly going through vigorous testing in late March and early April (with the same crew from Intamin that finished initial testing on Velocicoaster) with very little happening over the past few weeks.

While Sea World claims to have settled their "deferred vendor balances", I wonder if those have to be paid in full before manufacturers will allow the new coasters to be certified for guests.

May 6, 2021 at 1:29 PM

This company is just baffling in some of its management.

May 6, 2021 at 3:06 PM

Maybe some of the past management may be baffling but these two make sense in light of its current shareholders/owners. Hoping the best for all its parks in the recovery, they deserve a big rebound along with everyone else in the industry. Now to get cruises back online with vaccinated passengers!

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