Senior Vice President
Investor Relations and Treasurer
Record Start to 2018 at Six Flags
First Quarter Revenue Grows 30 Percent Driven by 27 Percent Increase in Attendance
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — April 24, 2018 — Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company, today announced that revenue for the first quarter of 2018 increased by $29 million or 30 percent from the first quarter of 2017 to a record-high $129 million. The revenue growth resulted primarily from a 27 percent increase in the number of guests visiting Six Flags parks, and the success of both the company’s pricing strategy and international licensing program. Attendance at Six Flags properties grew by 0.5 million to 2.4 million guests. This increase was driven by additional operating days from Six Flags Magic Mountain moving to a 365-day calendar; Hurricane Harbor Mexico being open in the first quarter, while not open in the first quarter of 2017; adjustments to park operating schedules due to the earlier timing of the Easter holiday; and additional attendance due to the company’s higher Active Pass Base, which represents the total number of guests who have purchased a season pass or who are enrolled in the company’s membership program.
“We are firing on all cylinders as we made excellent progress in the quarter against each of our five growth initiatives,” said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. “With our record-high Active Pass Base, ongoing price increases across all ticket and culinary programs, growing dining pass penetration, new water park openings and new international licensing agreements, we are poised to deliver another record year of financial performance in 2018. We remain laser-focused on exceeding $600 million of Modified EBITDA1 in 2018 and continue to work toward our long-term aspirational goal of $750 million of Modified EBITDA by 2020.”
Since most of the parks were not scheduled to be open during the first quarter, the company had a net loss during the quarter of $62 million. The loss per share for the first quarter of 2018 was $0.74 compared to a loss per share of $0.63 in the first quarter of 2017, primarily due to a reduced tax benefit in the quarter because of federal tax reform. Adjusted EBITDA2 for the first quarter was a loss of $19 million, an improvement of $16 million over the prior year period primarily due to the 27 percent increase in attendance and higher guest spending per capita. Modified EBITDA for the twelve months ended March 31, 2018, was $574 million, an increase of $41 million or 8 percent compared to the twelve months ended March 31, 2017. Modified EBITDA margin for the 12-month period improved to a new industry high of 41.4 percent.
The company’s Active Pass Base increased 10 percent year-over-year to a new all-time high for the first quarter. Increasing season pass and membership penetration is a key tenet of the company’s growth strategy, providing a platform of recurring revenue and the ability to further grow attendance as the company expands its network of parks. Season pass holders, and especially members, are the company’s most loyal and valuable guests, generating more recurring revenue and cash flow for the company than a single day guest. Season passes and memberships also provide an excellent hedge against inclement weather throughout the season.
Deferred revenue of $182 million as of March 31, 2018, increased by $25 million or 16 percent from March 31, 2017, primarily due to a higher level of season pass, membership and all season dining pass sales for the 2018 season.
Total guest spending per capita for the first quarter of 2018 was $46.07, an increase of $1.78 or 4 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017. Admissions revenue per capita increased $0.66 to $28.15 and in-park spending per capita increased $1.12 to $17.93. Favorable foreign currency rate translation accounted for $0.59 of the increase in total guest spending per capita, although it had a negligible impact on Modified EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA.
In the first quarter of 2018, the company invested $42 million in new capital projects. The company also paid $66.0 million in dividends, or $0.78 per common share, and repurchased 1.3 million shares of its common stock at an aggregate cost of $81 million, leaving 83.5 million shares of stock outstanding as of March 31, 2018. The authorized share repurchase amount available as of March 31, 2018, was $262 million.
Net Debt3 as of March 31, 2018, calculated as total reported debt of $2.18 billion less cash and cash equivalents of $33 million, was $2.14 billion, representing a net leverage ratio of 4.0 times Adjusted EBITDA.
The following information was filed by Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX) on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.