Weak pound helps soften dent to Merlin from terror fears

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Merlin Entertainments, the operator of attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and Alton Towers, saw operating profits grow thanks to the weak pound, even as terrorism fears diverted some families away from its venues.

Operating profits grew 3.6 per cent in the year to December 24 on a year earlier, but that would have been a fall of 6.2 per cent at constant exchange rates.

Chief executive Nick Varney said the company was facing “headwinds in many markets, in particular from international terrorism”.

The company said:

Ahead of entering our peak trading periods, we remain alert to geo-political uncertainties, in particular from international terrorism, which has been shown to have a significant and immediate impact on our business. However, with strong underlying growth prospects, a diverse portfolio of global brands, and actions already taken to mitigate cost pressures, we remain confident of a good performance in the year ahead.

Recently, the company has mainly been known for an accident on its Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers, following which two girls had a leg amputated. The company said growth of the company was held back by the “full year effect of lower volumes at Alton Towers”. The accident happened in June 2015.

The company operates dozens of theme parks and tourist attractions worldwide, including Sea Life aquariums and Legoland parks.

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