Shares in Merlin Entertainments, the company behind the LEGOLAND theme parks, fell today after flat sales at the brick based attractions.
After the announcement that sales at LEGOLAND theme parks did not grow in 2018, shares in Merlin Entertainments fell by 8%.
The lack of any new LEGO film releases and new attractions at the theme parks was blamed for the lack of sales growth, along with a hot summer in Germany. “For this year, with no LEGO movies and no capex [on new attractions] we signalled low single-digit growth and we ended up flat,” Chief Executive Nick Varney told the Financial Times.
Approximately 40% of Merlin Entertainments’ profits comes from the LEGOLAND parks, with another 40% from “midway” attractions – smaller destinations such as Madame Tussauds. Growth at the LEGOLAND attractions had been increasing ahead of the rest of the business until this year.
Sales increased at Alton Towers and Thorpe Park following a drop the year before.
With investments planned, Varney was keen to suggest that LEGOLAND will return to growth next year, despite rising costs due to a higher minimum wage and increases in business rates. LEGOLAND Florida announced more detail on THE LEGO MOVIE WORLD yesterday, which will open in Spring 2019.