SEAWORLD EARNINGS MIXED AFTER ANNOUNCING PLANS TO PHASE OUT KILLER WHALES

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Trainers (from left) Joe Sanchez, Brian Faulkner and Kelly Aldrich work with orcas Trua (front to back) Kayla and Nalani during the "Believe" show in Shamu Stadium at the Aquatica by SeaWorld theme park in Orlando, Fla., in 2011.

SeaWorld unveiled a mixed financial picture Thursday. This is the first earnings report since announcing this generation of killer whales would be the company’s last.

The company revealed minor gains in attendance and revenue, and a widening net loss.

SeaWorld’s net loss nearly doubled over the first quarter last year to $84 million. The company blamed depreciation after removing lifting floors from its orca tanks.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said the company expects slow growth in revenue streams like season passes after announcing it would stop breeding killer whales.

“It’s too early to try to draw a link directly to season passes immediately changing,” said Manby. “But we’re very confident that it’s cleared the runway, and people are seeing us in a positive light and that will start to change.”

SeaWorld announced the change in March. Its business had been battered since an orca killed an Orlando trainer in 2010, prompting some to suggest the animal’s treatment led to her death.

Source: www.wmfe.org

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