SeaWorld today reported strong gains in revenue, income, and earnings in the second quarter of 2021, even when compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.
The company reported attendance of 5.8 million guests in during the three months ending June 30, 2021 - a decline of just over 10 percent from the same period in 2019. Most of SeaWorld's parks were operating under pandemic-related capacity restrictions at the beginning of the quarter but those were lifted by the end of the quarter, the company said.
However, strong increases in guest spending overcame the attendance dip to drive revenue to $439.8 million in the quarter, up 8.3 from the same period in 2019. Average guest spending per visit was $75.71, up 20.5% from 2019, with increases in both admission and in-park spending.
SeaWorld also reported an adjusted EBITDA of $218.8 million, up 46.2% from the second quarter of 2019.
"Our strong financial performance through the first half of the year underscores both the resilience of our business and our commitment to emerge from this extraordinary environment an even stronger and more profitable business," SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. CEO Marc Swanson said. "During the second quarter we also generated record Free Cash Flow that further bolsters our already strong balance sheet. Our pricing and product strategies, along with the strong consumer demand environment, continued to drive higher realized pricing and strong guest spending resulting in record total revenue per capita in the quarter."
Looking ahead, Swanson highlighted the upcoming expansion of the after-hours Howl-O-Scream event to SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego. He also reported that the Sesame Place retheme of the Aquatica water park in San Diego is on schedule to open next year and that construction of the new SeaWorld Abu Dhabi is on track to be completed by the end of 2022.
However, in today's earnings call Swanson did not mention anything about the four new roller coasters that were supposed to open last year at Busch Gardens in Tampa and Williamsburg and SeaWorld in Orlando and San Diego. Nor did any of the participating Wall Street analysts ask.
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