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25 Jan 2019

Universal’s theme parks make revenue and pre-tax earnings gains in 2018
BY Luke Cloherty

To the year-end 2018, revenues at Universal theme parks were up by 4.4 per cent

To the year-end 2018, revenues at Universal theme parks were up by 4.4 per cent
photo: Shutterstock.com

Universal’s theme parks achieved steady financial growth in the full year 2018 and in the fourth quarter of the year.

To the year-end 2018, revenues at Universal theme parks were up by 4.4 per cent to US$5.7bn (€5bn, £4.4bn) from 2017’s figure of US$5.4bn (€4.8bn, £4.1bn).

In Q4 of 2018, the parks made revenue year-on-year gains also, rising by 3.5 per cent US$1.51bn (€1.3bn, £1.2bn), having made US$1.46bn in the same quarter in 2017.

Pre-tax earnings (EBITDA) also saw decent growth to the year-end, rising by 3 per cent to US$2.5bn (€2.2bn, £1.9bn) from US$2.3bn in 2017.

Meanwhile, EBITDA for Q4 2018 was stable, seeing a slight year-on-year uplift of 0.7 per cent to £666m from £661m in Q4 2017.

Higher attendance and per capita spending were the key drivers behind the revenue uplifts according to parent company Comcast, while that increased revenue was partially offset by operating costs, resulting in the steadier EBITDA increases.

Comcast’s results statement noted: "NBCUniversal’s capital expenditures of US$595m (€523.7m, £456.7m) increased by 13.5 per cent, reflecting the timing of spending on facilities, as well as continued investment at Theme Parks.

"For the twelve months ended 31 December 2018, revenue from the theme parks segment increased 4.4 per cent compared to 2017, reflecting higher per capita spending. Adjusted EBITDA increased 3 per cent compared to 2017, due to higher revenue, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses."



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