Merlin breaks £1bn in revenue for first time

Merlin breaks £1bn in revenue for first time Alton Towers is one of Merlin Entertainment's prime attractions

Merlin Entertainments has reported record annual sales, with the leisure giant taking more than £1 billion in revenue for the first time.

Merlin also saw record visitor numbers, with more than 54 million customers at its attractions.

Its financial results for 2012 show visitor numbers were up by 16.1 per cent and the sales figure rose by 15.2 per cent.

Operating profit at Merlin rose 16.5 per cent to £258 million.

However, on a like-for-like basis it was up just one per cent to £213m.

Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said: “Merlin made further substantial progress in 2012, beating our profit target for the 13th year in a row, due to the consistent and successful execution of our diversification and expansion strategy.

“We have continued to add to our world-class global portfolio of attractions, which is balanced by geography, product and demographics.”

Merlin operates brands such as LEGOLAND Parks and Resort Theme Parks, SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, and, in the UK, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers.

Varney added: “The business continues to broaden its international footprint, diversifying its revenues and providing further exposure to faster growing economies in Asia Pacific and North America.”