Friday 31 July 2015 5:45 am

Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash takes shine off Merlin Entertainments sales

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.