Friday 25 May 2018

Merlin trading in line but London still hurting from terror attacks

The group, which is also behind the London Dungeon, saw visits fall at attractions in the capital.

Merlin owns the London Dungeon (Stefan Rousseau/PA)
Merlin owns the London Dungeon (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Merlin Entertainments, the owner of Madame Tussauds, has said that trading in London is still being impacted by the wave of terror attacks last year.

The group, which is also behind the London Dungeon and the London Eye, has seen visits fall at attractions in the capital in the year to date.

“Visitation in our London Division remains down year on year reflecting the strong trading in the comparative period and continued impact from the 2017 terror attacks,” the firm said in a trading update.

Merlin saw a 17% plunge in visitor numbers last summer after the attacks took place during its critical trading period.

It also blamed poor weather and an early Easter for affecting trading at its theme parks, which include Alton Towers and Thorpe Park.

However, Merlin stressed that overall trading within the division was in line with expectations.

In March, Merlin reported a 5% fall in annual operating profit at its Midway unit – which includes the London attractions – to £152 million, with like-for-like revenue dipping 1.2%.

The group said at the time that it will redirect £100 million of investment away from its attractions between 2018 and 2021, putting the cash into developing new hotels instead.

Press Association

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