Merlin cheers summer sales success

Merlin is due to open parks in Dubai and Japan
Merlin is due to open parks in Dubai and Japan
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MERLIN Entertainments, the group behind a host of visitor attractions including Legoland and the Edinburgh Dungeon, is forecasting a year of growth after solid trading over the key summer season.

The firm, which generates about a third of its turnover in July and August alone, said yesterday that its summer performance took like-for-like revenue growth for the 36 weeks to 6 September to 6.7 per cent.

The rise compared with underlying growth of 8.1 per cent reported for the first half of the year, although Merlin had flagged a second-half slowdown due to tough comparatives with the same period last year.

Chief executive Nick Varney said: “The prospects for 2015 and beyond are attractive.”

The group, whose other attractions include Alton Towers, pictured, and the London Eye, is aiming to generate more revenues from Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific with a raft of additional sites. In July, it said it was in advanced talks to open more Legoland Parks in China and the US. Merlin is already due to open parks in Dubai and Japan in 2016 and 2017 respectively, taking it to seven globally, and has said it sees scope for 20 in total.