The parks are not fully staffed. Attendance has not returned to the same numbers as in 2019. International visitors – a small but valuable group of tourists – are not returning as they did before the pandemic.
But despite these challenges, the company posted its “fifth consecutive quarter of record financial results,” the CEO said. Marc Swanson said in the last earnings call.
“Our business model is strong and resilient,” Swanson said. “We have significant opportunities to improve and grow our revenues and profitability.”
Second quarter attendance reached 6.3 million visitors, an increase of 8% compared to the same period in 2021, although this is a decrease of around 3% compared to a second pre-pandemic quarter in 2019.
But the company is posting strong financial results compared to 2019, according to Thursday’s update.
SeaWorld Entertainment reported nearly $505 million in total revenue, which jumped 24% from the second quarter of 2019.
Swanson said he anticipated a busy summer season, praising July attendance as “positive”. After the summer, the parks switch to their Halloween programming – another source of income.
“We like the position we are in and where we will be as we head into the fall,” Swanson told analysts on Thursday’s earnings call.
The company is still interested in getting into the hotel business of its parks. SeaWorld is talking to several consultants and industry experts to help decide on the future site, Swanson said, promising to provide an update in the coming financial quarters.
The company announced Thursday that it was repurchasing an additional $250 million in stock.
This is the third time SeaWorld has planned a major stock buyback this year. Previously, the company had already announced that it was repurchasing $500 million worth of shares. Thursday’s announcement brings the total to $750 million.
The company also continues to invest and build new rides at its parks to increase ridership while seeking to reduce costs, executives said.
Some ways to save money could include limiting employee overtime, using automation to reduce labor costs and relying on fewer third-party contractors, the company said.
As for staff, Swanson said the company is looking at “What’s the right schedule?” What is the split between full-time and part-time?
Another way to save money is to “leverage scale, reduce complexity and standardize food, beverage and merchandise offerings,” according to the company’s investor presentation. did not provide further details.