The operator of the London Eye and Madame Tussauds waxworks says it expects to meet profit estimates, even after a series of U.K. terror attacks led to a slide in the number of day-trippers visiting the British capital.
With about two-thirds of revenue coming from outside the U.K. and new attractions opening in China and India, Merlin Entertainments Plc is optimistic it can overcome a sudden drop in domestic demand that followed attacks in London and Manchester.
“We anticipate delivering full-year profits in line with current expectations,” the company said as it reported first-half earnings slightly ahead of analysts’ estimates. Its shares gained as much as 2.8 percent in London.
Domestic demand reduced “immediately and significantly” following the U.K. attacks, Merlin said Friday, adding that it’s cautious about the subsequent impact on international tourism over the peak summer period. To counter such risks, the Legoland operator is developing a diverse international business, encompassing more than 100 attractions and 15 hotels across four continents.
First-half earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 15 percent to 144 million pounds ($189 million), beating a company-compiled consensus estimate of 142 million pounds. Merlin traditionally makes less than a quarter of profit in the first half, which ends before the start of Europe’s peak holiday season. For the year, analysts expect Ebitda of about 493 million pounds, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
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