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Published: Thursday, 5/9/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Cedar Fair reports loss of $109M in 1st quarter

But higher attendance boosts revenues 48%

BY TYREL LINKHORN
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

SANDUSKY — Cedar Fair LP reported a larger first-quarter loss than a year ago, but said Wednesday revenues were up and the company is anticipating another record year.

The theme-park company that operates Cedar Point, Kings Island, and other amusement parks, water parks, and hotels said it lost $109.1 million in the quarter, or $1.95 per share. Last year, the company lost $65.4 million, or $1.18 per share, in the first quarter.

A one-time, $34.6 million charge related to paying down debt early was cited for the loss.

The first quarter is the weakest because most of the company’s parks are not open.

Quarterly revenues were up $13.6 million, or 48 percent, from 2011 to $41.8 million. Officials said strong attendance and high spending at Knott’s Berry Farm, the company’s only year-round property, helped push revenues higher. Revenues were helped by the Easter holiday falling in the quarter.

Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair chief executive, said in a statement he is encouraged by early sales of season passes and hotel and group business bookings.

“While it is too early to see definitive trends at this point in the year, we anticipate that 2013 will mark our fourth consecutive year of record results,” he said. “We expect our strong capital plan, combined with the benefit of our ‘Thrills Connect’ marketing campaign and new e-commerce platform, to be among the primary drivers for a strong 2013.”

Cedar Point, the flagship park, opens this weekend. The park features GateKeeper, a new winged coaster.

The company also declared today a 62.5-cent dividend payable June 17 to shareholders as of June 5. Shares were up 25 cents, or 0.59 percent, to close at $42.51 a share.



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