Six Flags EBITDA, sales up in first quarter

Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2011 1:00 PM | Contributed by Jeff

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

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) today announced first quarter 2011 revenue of $61 million, an increase of $4 million or 7 percent over the same quarter in 2010. Adjusted EBITDA(1) was a loss of $49 million in the first quarter, an improvement of $11 million over the first quarter 2010. The improvement in Adjusted EBITDA resulted from strong revenue growth and a $6 million reduction in cash operating costs. 1.3 million guests visited Six Flags' parks during the quarter.

"The first quarter was a great start to our 2011 season," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "Our employees continue to effectively execute our business strategy, and we are in the midst of unveiling one of the most exciting line-ups of innovation in rides, attractions and shows in a decade."

Revenue growth was driven by a 1 percent increase in attendance, an 11 percent increase in ticket revenue and a 10 percent increase in in-park sales, offset by a 4 percent decline in revenue related to sponsorships, international licensing, management fees and hotel accommodations, collectively. Revenue Per Capita for the first quarter 2011 was $48.02 compared to $45.43 for the first quarter 2010, which represents an increase of $2.59 or 6 percent. The $6 million reduction in cash operating costs primarily related to lower compensation and marketing costs.

The company has reached a settlement with its former Chief Financial Officer in its pending arbitration. The terms of the settlement are confidential and the company incurred a $27 million restructuring charge in the quarter to reflect the full settlement and related costs.

Due to the seasonality of the business, cash earnings per share(2) for the first quarter 2011 was a negative $2.94. Since the company emerged from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 with a new capital structure, the prior year cash earnings per share figure is not meaningful. Free Cash Flow(3) was a negative $82 million in the first quarter, which included $23 million of capital spending, net of insurance proceeds. Net Debt(4) as of March 31, 2011 was $896 million compared to $784 million at December 31, 2010.

During the first quarter, the company repurchased $20 million of its stock at an average purchase price of $66.03 under a three-year, $60 million plan approved by the board of directors in February 2011.

Read the entire press release on PR Newswire.

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