Lehigh Valley

Dorney Park parent company reports record third quarter revenues

SANDUSKY, Ohio - Thanks to increases in attendance and average in-park guest per capita spending, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, the parent company of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, reported record net revenues and an increase in net income for third quarter 2017 compared to third quarter 2016.

“Our focus on creating urgency through immersive multi-week special events has had a significant impact on our year-to-date results," Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet said specifically on October results.

"This year we expanded our day-time family Halloween offerings and continued to grow our night-time Halloween Haunt events," he said. "Our ability to broaden our entertainment offerings for audiences of all ages, combined with pent up consumer demand from this summer, resulted in our best post-Labor Day performance in the company’s history.

“Our commitment to providing a compelling experience for audiences of all ages is the foundation of our growth strategy,” Ouimet said. “Because of this commitment the underlying demand for our products remains strong, as has been the case for our performance through this past weekend. Guests have responded extremely well to our new rides, attractions and immersive entertainment offerings. Attendance and guest spending reached record levels through this past weekend and we expect that to continue into November and December as we expand our Winter-Fest celebrations to three more parks this year.”

The increase in revenues for the quarter was the result of a 2 percent increase in average per capita spending, offset slightly by a less than 1 percent decrease in attendance and a 4 percent decrease in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations, when compared with 2016’s third quarter.

As a result of the gains, Cedar Fair’s board of directors declared a 4 percent increase in the company’s quarterly cash distribution to $0.89 per limited partner unit, payable Dec. 15, 2017. This distribution represents an annualized rate of $3.56 per limited partner unit and a more than 5.5 percent yield at current market prices.

Through Oct. 29, 2017, preliminary results indicate same-park net revenues were $1.24 billion, up $12 million compared with the same period in 2016. The rise in same park net revenues was the result of a 192,00 visit increase in attendance to a record 24.1 million visits and a slight increase in average in-park guest per capita spending.

During this same period, out-of-park revenues decreased by $3 million, to $133 million compared with 2016. Excluding results from October, net income declined to $157.9 million from $184.4 million in 2016.

In early 2012, Cedar Fair launched its FUNforward strategic plan. The solid execution of the FUNforward initiatives has delivered an adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest taxes depreciation and amortization) of 4 percent. Going forward, Cedar Fair expects to continue to deliver 4 percent annual growth in Adjusted EBITDA.

“This is an exciting and transformative period for Cedar Fair,” said Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair’s president and chief operating officer. “Our guests find great value in our immersive entertainment offerings. We will focus on driving demand in attendance and growing guest spending through compelling marketing campaigns and dynamic pricing strategies.”

Zimmerman said the strength of the company’s business model and demand for its products generate a significant amount of free cash flow that allows it to invest in its business for both the short and long term. Going forward, the company expects to spend approximately 10 percent of its revenues on marketable new rides, attractions and park infrastructure on an annual basis.

“We will lean into our brand positioning work to ensure attractions and immersive entertainment offerings are true to each park’s unique history and local market tastes,” he said.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN) is the largest regional amusement resort operator in the world. The company, based in Sandusky, Ohio, owns and operates 11 amusement parks along with two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels.

It also operates an additional theme park under a management contract. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan and Toronto, Ontario.

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