Aug 1, 2019
Lego movie success fails to lift Merlin Entertainments
The success of the second Lego movie failed to lift visitor numbers and revenues at the theme parks that showcase the plastic building blocks. Europe's largest theme park operator Merlin Entertainments said there was "Limited momentum" from The Lego Movie 2 after its release this year. The group reported a 0.7 per cent decline in revenues at Legoland parks in the first half of the year in contrast to the 19 per cent boost after the launch of the first movie in 2014. Overall revenues at its attractions, which include Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds as well as the Legoland parks, increased 6.5 per cent to £763m due to a 3 per cent growth in visitor numbers to 30.8m. Pre-tax profit rose 3.5 per cent to £253m. Merlin is set to be taken private this year after a deal with its largest shareholder, the family office of the Danish billionaire owners of Lego, along with Blackstone and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Merlin aims to expand its footprint away from Europe and into the US and Asia with new Legoland and Peppa Pig theme parks as it tries to cushion itself from any downturn in visitor numbers in the UK and the continent.
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