StockMarketWire.com - Merlin Entertainments, which operates Alton Towers and Legoland, reported a 6.5% increase in organic revenue in the first half, driven by the return to growth of its Midway attractions and resort theme parks, as well as the continued roll out of new attractions and accommodation.

In the six months to 30 June, organic revenue climbed to £763m from £706m a year earlier supported by a 2.3% increase in like-for-like revenue growth.

However, significant cost pressures, which were only partially mitigated by the company's productivity agenda, had limited EBITDA growth, it said.

Group underlying EBITDA at constant currency slipped 0.8% to £191m.

However, group performance was 'broadly in line' with expectations for the seasonally quieter first half, CEO Nick Varney said.

Further, increased depreciation charges relating to its investment in the business and an increased tax charge due to US legislation, combined with the operating performance, resulted in a 24.7% decline in adjusted earnings per share.

It said it was not recommending a dividend payment, following on from the 28 June announcement regarding the recommended offer.


At 10:05am: [LON:MERL] Merlin Entertainments PLC share price was +1p at 452.5p



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