Legolands cast a spell over Merlin

The surge in growth of Legoland sites worldwide has boosted Merlin. Picture: Getty
The surge in growth of Legoland sites worldwide has boosted Merlin. Picture: Getty
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Visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments has posted a rise in sales, helped by decent weather in Europe and continued strong trade at its Legoland parks.

In a trading update yesterday, the group said like-for-like sales rose 3.3 per cent in the 18 weeks to May 2 and by 6.5 per cent at constant currency when including contributions from new openings.

The world’s second-biggest operator of visitor attractions, behind US giant Disney, said its Legoland sites had seen strong trading over the past year, helped by promotional activity around The Lego Movie.

Merlin’s expansion plans include new Legoland parks for Dubai, Japan and South Korea by 2017 as well as additional short-stay sites such as Dungeons, Sea Life Centres and Shrek-themed attractions. Its Dungeons division already includes a site in Edinburgh.

Chief executive Nick Varney said: “Merlin has had a satisfactory start to 2015, having made tangible progress across our strategic growth drivers. Perhaps most importantly however, guests are telling us they love our new products and attractions.

“Looking forward, we are positive on the outlook for the remainder of the year.”