Merlin profits rise in wake of successful IPO

Guy Bentley
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Theme park company Merlin Entertainments has reported a jump in profits before tax to £186m for year ended 28 December, up £40m from the previous year.

2013 was an eventful year for the company with its flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The company reported strong growth in the number of visitors of 10.7 per cent to 59.8m. The company added that its financial performance was complimented by strong customer satisfaction of over 90 per cent.

Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments chief executive officer, commented:

Merlin Entertainments made further substantial progress in 2013. We delivered our fourteenth year of strong growth, with continued delivery from our existing estate, underpinned by the ongoing roll out of our unique portfolio of leisure brands internationally.

With seven new attractions in 2013 we are making good progress towards our stated long term aim of a geographically diversified business generating revenues equally across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. At the same time, we delivered on our long-standing objective of becoming a publicly quoted company.

Merlin says its flotation has given it the platform for the next stage of its development and is now better placed continue to build on present growth.

The company recently announced a strategic alliance with DreamWorks to launch a new midway brand, Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure, which will join Merlin's five other brands - Legoland, Madame Tussaunds, Sea Life, The Dungeons, and The Eye.

Merlin Entertainments is the world's second largest theme park operator with more than 70 attractions including Legoland, Alton Towers and Thorpepark.