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Published: Friday, 5/7/2010

Cedar Fair's revenue, operating losses grow

BLADE STAFF

SANDUSKY - Cedar Fair LP yesterday reported higher operating losses but increased revenues for the first quarter of this year compared to last year.

The company said its operating loss for the quarter was $60.6 million, up from $56.3 million a year ago, with the increase partly related to expenses from the terminated takeover of the Sandusky amusement park business by New York private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC.

However, its net loss for the quarter was $39.9 million, or 72 cents a share, better than the loss of $53.3 million, or 97 cents a share, for the same period last year.

Cedar Fair said its revenue for the quarter climbed 3 percent to $27.3 million from $26.5 million a year ago, primarily because of increased early season attendance at its Western and Southern parks.

The company said the first quarter typically finishes in the red and produces less than 5 percent of the firm's revenue because many of its parks are not open.

"Our preseason operating costs were in line with our expectations for the quarter," company Chief Executive Officer Dick Kinzel said in a statement.

The company, which owns Cedar Point and Kings Island parks in Ohio and 15 other amusement and water parks in the United States and Canada, said it has hired J.P. Morgan "to evaluate opportunities" to deal with its $1.5 billion term debt and $216 million of borrowing under its revolving credit lines.

Its interest expenses for the quarter rose 2 percent, mostly because of higher interest costs on a $900 million loan, the company said.

Mr. Kinzel said he is "hopeful" that this year will show a better financial performance than last year, which had a decline in overall attendance. He expects revenue growth of 3 percent to 5 percent this year from the $916 million generated last year.



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