Six Flags 1Q EBITDA rises, loss narrows

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world's largest regional theme park company, announced today that first quarter 2012 revenue grew 8 percent or $5 million over prior year to $66.4 million, while Adjusted EBITDA(1) for the same three-month period improved by $3.5 million to a $45.6 million loss. For the last twelve months, Adjusted EBITDA reached $354 million while Modified EBITDA(2) margin improved to 37.6 percent — a record high for the company.

"I am pleased to report our eighth consecutive quarter of EBITDA growth," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "As we enter the heart of our operating season, we look forward to introducing even more world-class rides and attractions at each of our parks. We are well-positioned to deliver another excellent year for our guests, employees and shareholders."

On a constant currency(3) basis, revenue grew 10 percent with approximately 5 percent of the growth due to attendance and pricing improvements, and 5 percent due to the settlement of business interruption insurance proceeds related to Hurricane Irene, totaling $3.0 million. Total guest spending per capita grew $3.14 or 8 percent with admissions revenue per capita increasing $2.10 or 10 percent to $22.72. In-park per capita revenue increased $1.04 or 6 percent in the quarter and attendance grew 1.5 percent. On a constant currency basis, and excluding the insurance proceeds benefit, total guest spending per capita increased 4 percent or $1.56 primarily driven by an increase in admissions revenue per capita. Deferred revenue as of March 31, 2012, which is made up primarily of season pass sales, increased $10 million or 18% versus last year.

Cash earnings per share(4) for the last twelve months was $3.34 — an increase of $0.79 as compared to the prior 12-month time period. The company believes cash earnings per share is a meaningful metric given the current $1.1 billion accumulated tax loss carryforward and the net depreciation and amortization impacts relating to fresh-start accounting. The first quarter reported loss per share of $2.11 was an improvement of $0.56 per share as compared to the first quarter 2011.

Net Debt(5) as of March 31, 2012 was $887 million, compared to $726 million as of December 31, 2011. In the first quarter the company invested $36 million in new capital, net of property insurance recoveries, paid $33 million in dividends, or $0.60 per common share, and repurchased $44 million or 970 thousand shares of its stock.

Read the full press release via PR Newswire.

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