Sixth Consecutive Record Year for Six Flags
Full Year Cash EPS1 hits $3.01 Per Share
Fourth Quarter Revenue Grows 18 Percent and Adjusted EBITDA2 34 Percent
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company, today announced that 2015 represented its sixth consecutive year of record financial performance as it grew revenue $88 million or 7 percent to $1.3 billion and grew Adjusted EBITDA2 $42 million or 10 percent to $481 million. The full-year revenue and EBITDA growth resulted primarily from an 11 percent increase in the number of guests visiting Six Flags parks, along with modestly higher ticket prices, success of the company’s all season dining program, and an increase in international licensing fees. Modified EBITDA3 for the year was $520 million while Modified EBITDA margin increased to a new industry high of 41.1 percent. On a constant currency4 basis, which excludes the foreign exchange translation impact from the company’s parks in Mexico and Canada, revenue grew $107 million or 9 percent and Adjusted EBITDA grew $50 million or 12 percent. Attendance at Six Flags properties in 2015 grew by 2.9 million guests to 28.6 million, of which 56 percent were either season pass holders or members.
“Our team delivered a fantastic season for our guests and yet another record year for our shareholders through a combination of new, innovative attractions in every park, higher season passes and membership sales, and strategic pricing initiatives—all of which improve recurring revenue and cash flow for our shareholders,” said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. “We are very well-positioned for the 2016 season, particularly given the 26 percent increase in our Active Pass Base, and I am extremely excited about our unprecedented line-up of new rides and attractions. My confidence in our strategy and the long-term future of our business continues to grow, and we remain laser-focused on delivering our long-term financial target of $600 million of Modified EBITDA by 2017.”
Fourth quarter 2015 revenue grew $34 million or 18 percent to a new record high of $217 million. Strong revenue growth was primarily driven by a 22 percent increase in attendance resulting from the growing popularity of the company’s Halloween- and winter holiday-themed events, Fright Fest® and Holiday in the Park®. Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA increased to $62 million, representing a $16 million or 34 percent increase over the fourth quarter 2014. On a constant currency basis, revenue grew $39 million or 22 percent and Adjusted EBITDA grew $18 million or 42 percent. Attendance for the fourth quarter grew by 944 thousand guests to 5.2 million.
Diluted earnings per share for 2015 was $1.58, representing an increase of $0.81 or 105 percent over 2014. Cash Earnings Per Share1 for 2015 was $3.01, an increase of $0.38 or 14 percent over 2014.
The company’s Active Pass Base, which represents the total number of guests who have purchased a season pass or who are enrolled in the company’s membership program, increased 26 percent from December 31, 2014 to December 31, 2015. The significant increase in the Active Pass Base is in line with the company’s overall strategy to upsell guests to multi-visit passes. Season pass holders and members are the company’s most valuable guests since they generate higher revenue and cash flow for the company than a single day guest, and also provide an excellent hedge against inclement weather throughout the season.
Deferred revenue of $97 million increased by $26 million or 36 percent from December 31, 2014 primarily due to a higher level of season pass, membership and All Season Dining Pass sales for the 2016 season.
Total guest spending per capita in 2015 was $41.60, a decrease of $1.37 or 3 percent compared to 2014, half of which related to changes in year-over-year foreign currency exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, full year total guest spending declined $0.67 or 2 percent due to the higher mix of season pass and member attendance.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, guest spending per capita was $37.87, a decline of $1.08 or 3 percent, all of which related to changes in foreign currency exchange rates. On a constant currency basis, fourth quarter guest spending per capita increased $0.07.
In 2015, the company generated $282 million of free cash flow after investing $114 million in new capital. It also paid $201 million in dividends, or $2.14 per common share for the year, and repurchased $245 million or 5.2 million shares of its common stock, leaving 91.6 million shares of stock outstanding as of December 31, 2015.
Net Debt5 as of December 31, 2015 was $1,406 million, which translates to a 2.9 times net leverage ratio.