Cedar Fair Announces 2019 Second-Quarter Results and Reports Record Performance for First Seven Months
August 07, 2019
Due to a shift in this year’s fiscal calendar, the second quarter of 2019 included an additional 64 operating days (combined across all parks) when compared with the second quarter of 2018, significantly impacting the Company’s quarter-over-quarter comparisons. The 2019 second quarter ended June 30, 2019, while the 2018 second quarter ended June 24, 2018.
1For additional information regarding Adjusted EBITDA, including how the Company defines and uses Adjusted EBITDA, see the attached historical reconciliation table and related footnotes.
2Adjusted EBITDA for the three months ended July 1, 2018 was calculated as net income of $42.1 million plus interest expense of $21.3 million, provision for taxes of $13.7 million, depreciation and amortization expense of $57.4 million, net effect of swaps benefit of $0.9 million, non-cash foreign currency loss of $15.7 million, non-cash equity compensation expense of $3.2 million, and loss on impairment / retirement of fixed assets of $3.2 million.
Commenting on second-quarter results and the strong trends through August 4, 2019, Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said, “We are very pleased with our year-to-date performance and the momentum built around the strategic initiatives that underscore our long-range plan. Our commitment to broaden the guest experience and invest in more immersive attractions is successfully expanding our audience and improving the value perception of our parks. Immersive attractions, such as Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island at Cedar Point, and limited duration special events, such as Monster Jam Thunder Alley and Grand Carnivale, are just a few examples of how we are successfully encouraging guests to visit more often.
“We are pleased to see an upswing in attendance, particularly over the past month as weather conditions improved, and equally pleased to have generated meaningful revenue growth through increases in both in-park per capita spending and out-of-park revenues,” said Zimmerman. “As noted in our July 4th update, continued growth in in-park per capita spending (most notably as a result of our enhanced food and beverage options), combined with record sales of season passes and the all-season dining and beverage options, indicates the financial health of our consumer remains solid. It also gives us confidence our new attractions and other in-park entertainment initiatives will continue to drive incremental, long-term growth and profitability for our unitholders.”
Zimmerman concluded by stating, “We feel very good about how the year is tracking as we move into the month of August, followed by the increasingly important and very popular Halloween and winter holiday events. The strength of our core business, combined with the positive early returns we are seeing from the two recently acquired Schlitterbahn water parks, makes us confident that everything is in place this year for a strong finish.”
Net revenues for the 2019 second quarter increased $56 million, or 15%, to $436 million from $380 million in the second quarter last year. The increase in revenues reflects a 10%, or 802,000-visit, increase in attendance, a 4%, or $1.82, increase in in-park per capita spending, and a 14%, or $6 million, increase in out-of-park revenues. On a comparable operating calendar basis, net revenues in the second quarter of 2019 were up 3%, or $14 million, on a 4% increase in in-park per capita spending, a 4%, or $2 million, increase in out-of-park revenues, and a 47,000-visit, or less than 1%, decrease in attendance.
Operating income for the 2019 second quarter totaled $102 million, up $34 million, or 50%, compared with $68 million for the second quarter last year. The increase in operating income was the result of the 15% increase in net revenues noted above, offset by an 8%, or $21 million, increase in operating costs and expenses compared with the second quarter of 2018. The increase in operating costs and expenses in the quarter was in line with the Company's expectations and was largely the result of the additional operating days. On a comparable operating calendar basis, operating costs and expenses in the period were up $8 million, or 3%, with the increase primarily due to higher labor costs driven by wage-rate increases and incremental operating costs associated with the Company’s new immersive events.
The net effect of the Company’s interest rate swaps resulted in $12 million of additional expense for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, reflecting the change in fair market value movements in the Company’s swap portfolio. During the current period, the Company also recognized a $9 million net benefit to earnings for foreign currency compared with a $15 million net charge to earnings in 2018, both amounts primarily representing the re-measurement of the U.S.-dollar-denominated debt held at our Canadian property.
After these non-cash items, depreciation and amortization, interest expense and provision for taxes, net income for the second quarter totaled $63 million, or $1.11 per diluted LP unit. This compares with net income of $19 million, or $0.34 per diluted LP unit, for the 2018 second quarter. On a comparable operating calendar basis, net income for the period totaled $42 million, up 50%, or $21 million.
Adjusted EBITDA, which management believes is a meaningful measure of the Company's park-level operating results, increased 28%, or $36 million, to $163 million for the 2019 second quarter, compared with $127 million in 2018. On a comparable operating calendar basis, Adjusted EBITDA was up 5%, or $7 million, compared with the second quarter of 2018. The 5% lift in Adjusted EBITDA was the result of the increases in in-park per capita spending and out-of-park revenues during the quarter, offset, in part, by the planned increases in operating costs and expenses. See the attached table for a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA.
Including the results from the Schlitterbahn parks since their acquisition on July 1, 2019, preliminary net revenues for the seven-month period ended August 4, 2019 totaled $877 million. Over this same period, combined attendance totaled 16.5 million visits, in-park per capita spending was $48.59, and out-of-park revenues totaled $104 million.
On a same-park basis (excluding the results from the Schlitterbahn parks), combined attendance was up 1%, or 213,000 visits, from the comparable seven-month period ended August 5, 2018. Over this same period and on a same-park basis, in-park per capita spending was up 3% and out-of-park revenues were up 4%, or $4 million. Overall, preliminary net revenues through the first seven months of the year increased 4%, or $31 million, to $850 million in 2019 from $819 million through the first seven months of 2018, on a same-park basis.
The Company also announced the declaration of a cash distribution of $0.925 per LP unit, which is consistent with its targeted annualized distribution rate of $3.70 per LP unit. The distribution will be paid on September 17, 2019, to unitholders of record as of September 4, 2019.
The Company will host a conference call with analysts starting at 10 a.m. EDT on August 7, 2019. Investors and all other interested parties can access a live, listen-only webcast via Cedar Fair’s investor site https://ir.cedarfair.com under the tabs Investor Information / Events and Presentations / Upcoming Events. Those unable to listen to the live webcast can access a recorded version of the call on the Company’s investor site https://ir.cedarfair.com under Investor Information / Events and Presentations / Past Events, available shortly after the live call’s conclusion. To access a replay of the earnings call by telephone, please dial (844) 512-2921 followed by the access pin code 3847439. The telephone replay will be available through August 21, 2019.
About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world, is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio. Focused on its mission to make people happy by providing fun, immersive and memorable experiences, the Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,300 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. Cedar Fair’s parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, Texas and Toronto, Ontario. It also operates an additional theme park in California under a management contract.
Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to the Company's expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. You can identify forward-looking statements because they contain words such as "believes," "project," "might," "expects," "could," "propose," "would," "may," "will," "should," "seeks," "approximately," "intends," "plans," "estimates," or "anticipates" or similar expressions that concern our strategy, plans or intentions. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may change at any time and, therefore, our actual results may differ materially from those that we expected. While we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we caution that it is very difficult to predict the impact of known factors, and it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations are disclosed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law.
This news release and prior releases are available online at http://ir.cedarfair.com
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