SeaWorld continues good run, but the CEO aspires for better

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SeaWorld Orlando's penguin exhibit.
SeaWorld Orlando's penguin exhibit. Photo Credit: SeaWorld Orlando

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment recorded its sixth consecutive quarter of record results, CEO Marc Swanson said Wednesday, with third-quarter revenue of $565.2 million up 8.4% from a year earlier and net income of $134.6 million up 31.8%.

Despite the records, Swanson said, SeaWorld is still facing headwinds: Hurricane Ian resulted in about 90,000 fewer visitors in the quarter, staffing is not optimized, inflation is impacting costs, and international and group visits have not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Marc Swanson
Marc Swanson

He also believes SeaWorld has opportunities to record even better financial results, especially by increasing attendance at its parks around the country.

In the third quarter, SeaWorld drew 7.3 million guests. That is up 1.5% from the same time last year but down 9.7% from 2019, before the pandemic. For the first three quarters of the year, SeaWorld has drawn 17 million guests, up 11.5% from the first three quarters of 2021 but down 5.1% from 2019.

SeaWorld's parks achieved their highest attendance -- 25 million -- in 2008. Swanson believes investments made in the company's theme parks will help drive attendance closer to that number.

For 2023, the company is planning a slate of new attractionsacross its parks.

Swanson also said the company continues to evaluate possible sites for hotels, and he expects to announce more in the future.

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