Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash takes shine off Merlin Entertainments sales

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The Smiler ride at Alton Towers, where 16 people were injured after a collision last month
Merlin Entertainments has posted  an increase in revenue in the first half of the year despite trading being “significantly impacted” due to a rollercoaster collision last month in which four people were left seriously injured
 
In a trading statement released just days after the company issued a major profits warning, the Alton Towers owner said the accident and the temporary closure of the resort had led to a two per cent fall in like-for-like sales across its theme park division. 
 
However, its Legoland theme parks enjoyed a six per cent rise in like-for-like sales, helping to lift total sales by 6.1 per cent to £544m.
 
The company, which runs 100 attractions in 23 countries, said profit before tax increased by 23.9 per cent to £49m in the 26 weeks to 27 June, up from £40m last year. 
 
The firm’s theme park division recorded an underlying loss of £6m compared with a £2m profit last time.