SeaWorld's first financial report since its April IPO shows a loss of $15.9 million compared with a profit of $39.1 million in the same period last year, when SeaWorld was still a privately held company.
Attendance and earnings plunged at SeaWorld theme parks this spring, but the company said Tuesday it expects improvement during the rest of the year thanks in large part to its new Antarctica expansion in Orlando.
"We're very pleased with the performance of this attraction. Our cluster of parks in Orlando are our highest-performing group on a year-to-date basis," SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Atchison said during a conference call with analysts. "Antarctica is something that's a big game-changer for us, in terms of our brand and the guest experience. Our five Florida parks produce 55 percent of its annual revenue."
Quarterly attendance at the company's 11 U.S. parks tumbled 9 percent during the quarter, dropping to 6.6 million from 7.2 million a year ago.
SeaWorld blamed several factors, including unusually heavy rain in Florida.