Universal's theme parks recorded another quarter of record profits in the three months ending June 30, parent company Comcast reported this morning.
NBCUniversal's Theme Parks segment reported $1.8 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2022, a 64.8% increase over the same period in 2021, when park in California and Japan were operating under pandemic capacity restrictions. Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] was up 186.5% for the quarter, to $632 million, helping push NBCUniversal overall to a nearly 20% increase in earnings for the quarter.
"Our Parks segment continued its momentum, generating record EBITDA for a second quarter, and this is without much contribution from Beijing, which was closed for nearly two months," Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said. "Domestic park attendance and per caps continue to be above pre-pandemic levels, and we are moving full steam ahead with building Epic Universe. I cannot be more excited for how this park will bring new experiences to our visitors and additional runway for growth."
Comcast reported that the Universal Orlando Resort generated its highest Adjusted EBITDA on record for any quarter, while Universal Studios Hollywood generated its highest Adjusted EBITDA on record for a second quarter.
In response to investment analysts' questions, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell expressed optimism that the Universal theme parks would continue to perform well even as the U.S. economy appears heading into recession.
"The parks business historically has been subject to macro trends, and there's no reason to think that that won't be the case in the future, but as we look at our business, we're just not seeing it yet," Shell said. "We're putting up these numbers despite the fact that our international visitation domestically is about half of what it historically been."
"Internationally, Japan has been steadily improving quarter to quarter. [It's] still not back to where it was pre-pandemic, but the trendline is really good," Shell said. "Beijing, which was closed two of the three months of this quarter, opened in the in the third month and is doing really well, much better than we expected despite Covid constraints on capacity. All that international performance is subject obviously to the strong dollar, and that is a headwind for us, so I think we feel really good about the parks and feel like there's a lot of growth ahead of us despite what could be macro challenges that we might face. We're just not seeing it yet."
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