Merlin growth “on track” despite shelved IPO

Merlin growth “on track” despite shelved IPO

Merlin Entertainments has said it remains on target to grow this year despite having to shelve plans for a stock market floatation.

The group, whose attractions include Madame Tussauds, Legoland, the London Eye and Alton Towers, said visitor numbers rose 9.7 per cent to 38.5 million during 2009.

Like-for-like sales rose 12.9 per cent to £720.2 million and revenue rose by 16.6 per cent to £238.6million.

Nick Varney, the chief executive of Merlin, said he was confident of matching these figures in 2010.

He said: “These results demonstrate the resilience of our business model and are the product of continued investment in the business over the past decade.


Last month the operator’s controlling shareholder, Blackstone, shelved plans for a flotation that would have valued the company at about £2 billion.

At the time, Merlin said no decisions about a float were likely to be made “in the near future”, and it made no further hints in today’s statement.

This year, Merlin, the world’s second largest theme-park operator after Disney, plans to open Legoland Florida.