Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

DXB Entertainments' first-quarter loss widens on fewer visitors

Dubai-based theme-park operator to focus on boosting international visitor numbers

DXB Entertainments, which operates Legoland and Bollywood Park, aims to boost international visitor numbers. Courtesy Legoland Dubai
DXB Entertainments, which operates Legoland and Bollywood Park, aims to boost international visitor numbers. Courtesy Legoland Dubai

DXB Entertainments, the operator of the Dubai Parks and Resorts theme parks, reported a wider first-quarter loss as visitor numbers dropped and revenues shrank.

Net loss grew 3 per cent to Dh216 million in the first three months to March 31, DXB Entertainments said in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market on Tuesday, where its shares are traded. First-quarter revenue fell 18 per cent to Dh142m, missing estimates of Dh193m, according to a Bloomberg poll.

"Not unexpectedly we have seen a reduction in this quarter’s visitor numbers compared to last year, a typical pattern for a theme park in its second year as the domestic target market consolidates to a core of repeat visitors," said Mohamed Almulla, chief executive and managing director of DXB Entertainments.

"Our job now is to maximise the revenue potential of our established domestic base whilst growing our international visitor numbers."

DXB Entertainments saw total number of visits to its theme parks decline 11 per cent to 760,000 in the first quarter. International visitors made up 45 per cent of the total visitors and the company set a target to boost that to more than 60 per cent.

International visitors bring in higher yields and boosting the number of tourists flocking to the theme parks will help the company achieve its target of a break-even on earnings before interest, tax, depreication and amoritisation (ebitda) during the second half of 2020, Mr Almulla said.

DXB Entertainments' ebitda loss for the first quarter narrowed 10 per cent due to cost optimisation initiatives, it said.

Dubai as a whole attracted 4.75 million visitors in the first quarter, up 2.2 per cent from a year ago, with Oman becoming the fastest growing source market, according to government data released last week.

Dubai International Airport recorded a 2.2 per cent decline in passenger traffic during the first quarter of the year mainly due to fewer flights after the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets and a shift in the timing of Easter holidays, operator Dubai Airports said last week.

Updated: May 14, 2019 02:02 PM

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