Merlin Entertainments reports 1.3 per cent growth in revenue for year to date despite dip in midway attractions


Trading at Alton Towers has improved, helping Merlin Entertainments grow revenue (Source: Getty)

Merlin Entertainments has reported a 1.3 per cent increase in revenue for the 38 weeks to 17 September, helped by a recovery in trading at Alton Towers.

Shares in the company dropped by 5.1 per cent this morning after the company published its latest trading update.

Earlier this week the firm was fined £5m over a crash on one of its rollercoasters at Alton Towers last year. Today, chief executive Nick Varney said an improvement in trading at the Staffordshire theme park had pushed revenue for Merlin's resort theme parks division up by three per cent.

On the subject of the fine handed down earlier this week, Varney said: "From the beginning the company has accepted full responsibility for the accident and strived to support all those injured in every way possible.

"We have learned every lesson from what happened last year and made a number of technical and procedural improvements to make sure that an accident like this cannot happen again. Both the judge and the Health and Safety Executive acknowledge we have a good overall track record in safety and we remain committed to achieving the highest standards in this area."

The company said that its city centre attractions had experienced volatile trading patterns "as a result of wider security concerns that have affected both domestic and international visitation", and said this was having a "significant impact" on its midway business in London, where "visitor volumes have also yet to see any material benefit of sterling weakening to current levels".

And in China, the company's Madame Tussauds Shanghai experienced a challenging trading period over the summer, due to the opening of the Shanghai Disney Resort in June 2016.