Cedar Fair reports net revenue in August up 6% over last year, driven by 5% increase in attendance, 7% boost in out-of-park spending

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release:

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today announced that preliminary results for the five weeks ended Monday, September 3, 2018, represented record revenues for the fiscal month of August.

For the five weeks, preliminary net revenues were $288 million, up 6%, or $17 million, when compared with the same period in 2017. This was the result of a 5%, or 255,000-visit, increase in attendance, a 1%, or $0.52, increase in average in-park per capita spending and a 7%, or $2 million, increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations.

"Over the past five weeks we have experienced strong growth across all aspects of our business, reaffirming our confidence in the resiliency of our business model and the outlook for growth in the business for the long term," said Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair's president and CEO. "During this time, we successfully executed on a number of initiatives designed to drive guest urgency while at the same time maintaining integrity in our pricing structure. These efforts resulted in a solid lift in attendance and increased guest spending inside our parks during the period. We also saw robust demand for our hotel and resort accommodations, an asset class we are actively developing in an effort to generate additional and attractive returns over the longer term. Looking ahead, we believe these strong results reflect the positive response from consumers for the compelling entertainment experiences we provide to our guests of all ages, and we expect that to continue for the balance of the year."

Year-to-date preliminary net revenues through Labor Day, September 3, 2018, were $1.04 billion, up slightly when compared with the similar period through Labor Day, September 4, 2017. The 2018 results compared with 2017 reflect increases of 1%, or $0.38, in average in-park per capita spending to $47.46 and 5%, or $5 million, in out-of-park revenues, including resort accommodations, to $120 million. These increases were offset by a 1%, or 225,000-visit, decrease in attendance to 20.0 million guest visits.

"For the remainder of the year, we are focused on building upon the momentum we have established over the past five weeks," continued Zimmerman. "Our near-term strategy includes fully maximizing the potential of our very popular seasonal celebrations including Halloween Haunt, The Great Pumpkin Fest and WinterFest. Our fourth quarter has become a meaningful period of operations, particularly as we leverage our highly popular fall events to jump-start sales of our 2019 season pass and all-season products, which are off to a strong start."

Zimmerman noted that the strong August results were not enough to entirely overcome the challenges the Company faced through the first seven months of the year. Based on the year-to-date results and outlook for the rest of the year, the Company now expects 2018 full-year net revenues to be in the range of $1.32 billion to $1.34 billion, and full-year Adjusted EBITDA1 to be in the range of $460 million to $470 million. Zimmerman also reiterated the Company's commitment to delivering a steady 4% annual increase in the cash distribution to unitholders while continuing to invest in the business at a responsible level.

Turning to 2019, Zimmerman added the Company has generated strong early-season increases in its advance purchase channels, including season pass sales and all-season products. Driving the strong early-season sales is the introduction of a 12-month payment program and unlimited visits for the remainder of 2018 at a number of parks, combined with a unique and diverse array of new attractions and offerings within the Company's 2019 capital program.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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