SeaWorld Entertainment reports record revenue in second quarter

Posted Thursday, August 5, 2021 10:54 AM | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS), a leading theme park and entertainment company, today reported its financial results for the second quarter and first six months of fiscal year 2021.

Second Quarter 2021 Highlights

  • Attendance was 5.8 million guests, an increase of 5.5 million guests from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, attendance declined by 0.7 million guests or 10.1%.
  • Total revenue was a record $439.8 million, an increase of $421.8 million from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, total revenue increased by $33.8 million or 8.3%.
  • Net income was a record $127.8 million, an increase of $258.8 million from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, net income increased by $75.1 million or 142.7%.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was a record $218.8 million, an increase of $272.7 million from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, Adjusted EBITDA increased by $69.1 million or 46.2%.
  • Total revenue per capita increased 14.2% to a record $75.71 from the second quarter of 2020. Admission per capita increased 16.5% to $41.87 while in-park per capita spending increased 11.6% to $33.84 from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, total revenue per capita increased 20.5%, admission per capita increased 18.8%, while in-park per capita spending increased 22.7%.

First Six Months 2021 Highlights

  • Attendance was 8.0 million guests, an increase of 5.4 million guests from the first six months of 2020. Compared to the first six months of 2019, attendance declined by 1.8 million guests or 18.1%.
  • Total revenue was $611.7 million, an increase of $440.1 million from the first six months of 2020. Compared to the first six months of 2019, total revenue declined by $14.9 million or 2.4%.
  • Net income was a record $82.9 million, an increase of $270.4 million from the first six months of 2020. Compared to the first six months of 2019, net income increased by $67.2 million.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was a record $244.0 million, an increase of $328.7 million from the first six months of 2020. Compared to the first six months of 2019, Adjusted EBITDA increased by $77.9 million or 46.9%.
  • Total revenue per capita increased 15.1% to a record $76.24 from the first six months of 2020. Admission per capita increased 9.2% to $42.25 while in-park per capita spending increased 23.5% to $33.99 from the first six months of 2020. Compared to the first six months of 2019, total revenue per capita increased 19.3%, admission per capita increased 16.1%, while in-park per capita spending increased 23.5%.

Other Highlights

  • As of June 30, 2021, the Company's total available liquidity was $927.8 million, including $615.8 million of cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet and $312.0 million available on its revolving credit facility.
  • Cash flow from operations was a record $229.7 million and $248.1 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively. Free Cash Flow[2] was a record $200.0 million and $203.1 million for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021, respectively.
  • As of June 30, 2021, all the Company's parks were open and operating without COVID-19-related capacity limitations.
  • In the second quarter of 2021, the Company helped rescue almost 500 animals bringing total rescues over its history to over 39,100.

"I am pleased to report that, despite continuing to operate in a highly challenging and COVID-19 impacted environment, momentum from the first quarter continued into the second quarter and we delivered strong second quarter financial results – including record revenue, net income and Adjusted EBITDA," said Marc Swanson, Chief Executive Officer of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. "Our strong financial performance through the first half of the year underscores both the resilience of our business and our commitment to emerge from this extraordinary environment an even stronger and more profitable business. During the second quarter we also generated record Free Cash Flow that further bolsters our already strong balance sheet. Our pricing and product strategies, along with the strong consumer demand environment, continued to drive higher realized pricing and strong guest spending resulting in record total revenue per capita in the quarter. Despite the progress we have made, we continue to believe there are significant additional opportunities to improve our execution and continue to drive meaningful growth in both revenue and Adjusted EBITDA."

"We were also pleased to recently receive recognition from USA Today readers for having some of the best parks and attractions in the country. Our SeaWorld Orlando park was voted best amusement park in the United States, our Mako rollercoaster in SeaWorld Orlando was voted best rollercoaster in the United States, Aquatica Orlando was voted best outdoor waterpark in the United States and Celtic Fyre at Busch Gardens Williamsburg was voted best amusement park entertainment in the United States. Several of our other parks and attractions received top ten rankings as well. We are thrilled to receive these awards and proud of the ambassadors in our parks that help deliver amazing guest experiences," continued Swanson.

"Looking ahead, next month we will begin our Halloween events including our daytime, family-oriented SeaWorld Spooktacular event at our SeaWorld parks and our night-time Howl-O-Scream event at all of our Busch Gardens and SeaWorld parks, including for the first time ever at SeaWorld Orlando and SeaWorld San Diego. We are excited about adding this popular event for our thrill-seeking, adult guests in Orlando and San Diego. We are also planning on strategically adding operating days in the second half of the year versus 2019. Looking further out, we are making progress on building Sesame Place in San Diego and look forward to opening that park next year. In addition, SeaWorld Abu Dhabi, the first SeaWorld park outside of the United States, is on track to complete construction by the end of 2022," concluded Swanson.

The Company's second quarter 2021 financial results continued to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. While 10 of the Company's 12 parks were open at the beginning of the second quarter, all parks were operating with capacity limitations and/or modified/limited operations (compared to none of its 12 parks open at the beginning of the second quarter in 2020 due to the temporary park closures effective March 16, 2020 in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and in compliance with government restrictions). By the end of the second quarter, all 12 parks were open, all operating without COVID-19 related-capacity limitations (compared to 7 of its 12 parks at the end of the second quarter of 2020, as the Company began the phased reopening of some of its parks with capacity limitations and modified/limited operations, starting in June 2020). On April 1, 2021, the Company in consultation with the State of Virginia, increased capacity at its Busch Gardens Williamsburg park to approximately 13,000 guests based on revisions to the methodology for calculating restricted capacity at theme parks. On May 28, 2021, theme park capacity restrictions in the State of Virginia were removed. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Company's SeaWorld San Diego park was operating under capacity restrictions in compliance with state safety guidelines for zoos. On April 12, 2021, SeaWorld San Diego resumed theme park operations with limited capacity in accordance with the State of California guidelines for theme parks. On June 15, 2021, all capacity restrictions for SeaWorld San Diego were removed in accordance with the State of California guidelines.

Given the disruption the Company experienced last year when it temporarily closed all its parks on March 16, 2020, the Company has provided a comparison of its financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021 to the three and six months ended June 30, 2019.

Second Quarter 2021 Results

In the second quarter of 2021, the Company hosted approximately 5.8 million guests, generated record total revenues of $439.8 million, record net income of $127.8 million and record Adjusted EBITDA of $218.8 million. Attendance declined 0.7 million guests when compared to the second quarter of 2019 primarily due to COVID-19 related impacts including capacity limitations and/or modified/limited operations at our parks for some of the quarter. The increase in total revenue of $33.8 million was primarily a result of increases in admission per capita (defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance) and in-park per capita spending (defined as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance) partially offset by the decline in attendance. Admission per capita increased primarily due to the realization of higher prices in our admission products resulting from our strategic pricing efforts, along with the net impact of the admissions product mix when compared to the second quarter of 2019. In-park per capita spending improved primarily due to increased guest spending, higher realized prices and fees, an improved product mix, new or enhanced and expanded in-park offerings and a strong consumer demand environment during the quarter compared to 2019. Adjusted EBITDA was positively impacted by an increase in total revenue and a decrease in operating expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses. The decrease in operating expenses and selling, general and administrative expenses is primarily due to a net reduction in labor-related costs, marketing related costs and other operating costs resulting from structural cost savings initiatives and the impact of modified/limited operations due to COVID-19 for most of the quarter when compared to 2019.

Read the entire release on PR Newswire.

Thursday, August 5, 2021 12:04 PM
Jeff's avatar

The stock is on fire today. I was trying to see why, and it turns out that the analysts expected a loss. It seems like there's a halo effect, as SIX and FUN are up as well.

I was at Busch Tampa last weekend, and I was really disappointed with their operations, and the number of things that were closed. Culinary and zoological was on-point as usual, but ops were glacial. I think it might be some under-staffing, which everyone is dealing with.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 1:50 PM

was at Sea World San Diego this week and can report similar. Woefully understaffed operations on one of the coasters led to infuriating wait times. Perhaps the only park i've been to where ops seemed intentionally to be oriented to forcing you to the skip the line option. Got the severely discounted annual pass at the end of 2020, used it this year, won't be renewing.

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 2:27 PM
Jeff's avatar

Cheetah Hunt has a video monitor with the load dwell time. I didn't see them get trains out in less than two minutes even once. No hustle. This has been my frustration for the entire last decade. The potential for a first class experience is there, as anyone who goes to Discovery Cove will tell you, but I don't understand why they can't run rides efficiently. I'm also salty because Cobra's Curse was down, and that's my kid's favorite ride.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 4:40 PM

At Sea World-SD, Manta, launched family coaster: two ops on the platform and one in the booth. One of the platform ops has to leave the platform to walk to the QuickQueue (FOTL) merge point which is down the path about 15 feet. Since there is a constant flow of QuickQueue people, this has to happen EVERY DISPATCH. So, they're running two trains, stacking them every time because this person's task doesn't end until the other train hits the block for unload, not the brake run. (there's an unload and load block for 3-4 train operations). I know don't laugh at them running 4 trains, but they have them.

Then this person has to walk all the way from the FOTL merge point, back to the platform (at the end of the train) and all the way to the front of the train before the gates can open for on-coming riders. it was madness.

And let's just say that the worker in question wasn't hustling it either.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Thursday, August 5, 2021 4:42 PM
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Thursday, August 5, 2021 9:27 PM

This is stunning to me in comparison specifically to Cedar Fair...

"Total revenue was a record $439.8 million, an increase of $421.8 million from the second quarter of 2020. Compared to the second quarter of 2019, total revenue increased by $33.8 million or 8.3%."

So their Q2 total revenue was UP over 2019. Cedar Fair's total revenue in 2019Q2 was 436 million (more than SEAS was for that quarter). Their revenue for 2021Q2 was only 224 million. I guess SEAS season pass mix is probably much lower than Cedar Fair's which in this case means they're able to spring back quicker since a large number of people are actually having to pay their admission this year.

It's amazing to me that both companies can claim victory with their releases despite quite different numbers.


-Matt

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 9:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

That's what I was digging into on PointBuzz. I think Cedar Fair is giving away passes, and that's the problem. SeaWorld only has one destination park, which is Orlando (plus the extra gates), so it isn't that different. They do their "fun card" thing for a hundred bucks, but it doesn't include parking or any perks at all.

I think Cedar Fair is leaving money on the table at the gate, and all of the meal plans and Fast Lane doesn't make it up.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Thursday, August 5, 2021 9:43 PM

I feel like many Cedar Fair parks offer a comparable experience to a SEAS park, minus the animals (because as Kinzel once said, "we don't do animals"), but double the coasters/thrill rides. SEAS parks price as if they are Disney or Universal. And Cedar Fair is pricing as if they are the state fair.

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Friday, August 6, 2021 1:03 AM

Now we see why 2020 rides have not opened No need to Save them for later to drive revenue at a different time

SEAS has higher season pass prices. Water park is additional cost to any ticket or pass. No season dining plans. Cedar Fair could take a lesson from this instead of over crowding their parks with the same non paying customers

They Could easily increase their prices by offering a basic season pass at the current price. Then additional nominal fees for the waterpark, hot, and Winterfest in ab season pass.

Also it would make more sense to have reasonable food and drink prices (knoebels)instead of the season dining.

I saw somewhere CF is buying back stock. It seems like their mismanagement is diving down to stock price for that reason.

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Friday, August 6, 2021 9:28 AM
Jeff's avatar

I wonder if CF is also under-pricing their dining options. I recall Busch Tampa did all-day dining at $45, just for that day. Cedar Point has an all-season option, lunch and dinner, for $139. That's free food after your third visit, and I can without question say I would spend more without that option as a passholder.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, August 6, 2021 10:39 AM

Yea I don't see how a season long dining plan is a money maker for these companies - especially when combined with super cheap admission. Even I - a customer 4 hours away who makes about 5 trips a year for 2-3 days each - probably am paying less than 5 bucks per meal on their meal plan. That's still profitable for them since I'm sure the food is super cheap to make at scale, but could I also be a happy customer if they charged 8-10 bucks for the same meal sans drink (rather than about 14.99) or maybe $12 with drink (rather than $14.99 plus $5 for drink). Or heck, still do the drink plans since soda costs them pretty much nothing and leave it at that.

I can't imagine how much money they must lose on locals who go for a meal 5 nights a week. They're are probably people that average out to less than a dollar per meal. I'm sure those people are the outliers, but who exactly are they aiming to please with the strategy?

The strategy of special food events seems like a winner. Maybe they sell enough of those tasting cards on top of the meal plans that it makes the math work out in their favor. We did Frontier Festival which was a nice event aside from the redemption/overcrowding issues opening weekend.


-Matt

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Friday, August 6, 2021 10:43 AM

Jeff said:

I wonder if CF is also under-pricing their dining options. I recall Busch Tampa did all-day dining at $45, just for that day. Cedar Point has an all-season option, lunch and dinner, for $139. That's free food after your third visit, and I can without question say I would spend more without that option as a passholder.

I live in Florida, 600 odd miles from the closest Cedar Fair park, and the season before COVID I was still able to come out ahead on the Cedar Fair dining plan between trips to Cedar Point, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, Dorney and Carowinds. Heck, I would have come out ahead even with just two 2-day trips to Cedar Point. Then add the fact that "people gotta eat" has been replaced with food that's as good as Busch or Disney quick service options in most of the Cedar Fair parks and the all season dining was an absolute steal.

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Friday, August 6, 2021 11:39 AM
Jeff's avatar

Food festivals print money, if you can serve efficiently. Just balanced my credit card statement... at the rate we're spending for Epcot Food & Wine, we're on pace to spend $500 we wouldn't have otherwise.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, August 6, 2021 5:15 PM

And yet according to Screamscape:
"As we approach the end of the 2021 Summer season, word is that the new COO, Tom Iven, that SEAS hired away from Six Flags may be behind an all new series of staff layoffs, budget cuts and cuts to future capital expansion projects.
Unfortunately I don’t know when the axe is going to fall, only that the corporate office has now begun to sharpen it ahead of the upcoming culling."

They do this EVERY year. They slash and burn through employees only to hire new, cheaper workers. I guess when you swap out presidents and CEOs on a yearly basis, this is the result.

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Friday, August 6, 2021 5:29 PM
Jeff's avatar

That anyone would be in a position to know this that would tell Screamscape is highly suspect. My understanding from actual people on the ground is that they're struggling to hire enough front-line people.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, August 6, 2021 6:25 PM

Tom Iven wasn’t hired away from Six Flags. He retired in 2020.


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Friday, August 6, 2021 7:44 PM

My eyes naturally fell into reading this first.

Jeff said:

Screamscape is highly suspect.

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Saturday, August 7, 2021 10:27 AM

As someone who has lived and worked in Orlando since 1999 (including Sea World), they seem to do this EVERY year no matter how good the parks do financially. I also used to work for Busch Gardens in VA and FL during the Anheuser Busch days and then Blackstone Group. It was night and day the way the parks were run and employees were treated. Once Blackstone came in, they no longer could rely on the global beer sales to support the park. The parks had to be profitable as parks on their own.

I know for a fact that employee turnover there is ridiculous. Why would anyone work there when they are guaranteed a higher rate at Universal? Time will tell what happens.

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Saturday, August 7, 2021 11:51 AM
Jeff's avatar

The parks were profitable on their own under AB, they just weren't in any pressure to produce huge margins or service any debt.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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