Theme park company sees record decline after accident
Merlin Entertainments shares had a record decline in London after the theme-park owner reduced its profit outlook for the year following a rollercoaster crash at its Alton Towers park in England.
The stock dropped as much as 8.9pc, the steepest intraday drop since the company's 2013 initial public offering. Merlin closed Alton Towers for six days after the June 2 accident on the Smiler rollercoaster, and also suspended marketing and shut rides at other UK theme parks. At least four people sustained serious injuries in the accident, for which Merlin has accepted responsibility.
"As a result of the material loss of momentum, trading at the park and, to a lesser extent, the broader UK resort theme parks estate has been adversely impacted," Poole-based Merlin said in a statement yesterday.
The company forecast full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £40m-£50m (€56m-€70m) for its theme park unit, down from the previous year's £87m. The operator of the Legoland and Thorpe Park attractions also warned there may be "some continued adverse impact" on theme-park profitability in 2016. Merlin shares were down 3.6pc at 407.8 pence as of 10:10am in London yesterday, paring their earlier losses. That reduced the company's market value to about £4.1bn. (Bloomberg)