which reported its earnings yesterday, higher guest spending drove the increases at the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks.The SeaWorld theme parks this morning reported record revenue and earnings for the second quarter of 2022. As with Cedar Fair,
SeaWorld posted revenue of $504.8 million in the three month period ending June 30, 2002 - a 14.8% increase from the second quarter of 2021 and up 24.3% from the same period in 2019, before the pandemic affected the parks. Adjusted EBITDA also was a record for the quarter, at $234.4 million, up 7.1% from the second quarter of 2021 and 56.6% from the same period in 2019.
Net income was $116.6 million, which was down 8.7% from the second quarter of 2021, though it remains the second-highest amount recorded by the company for a second quarter. In-park guest spending increased 8.2% to a record $36.61 per person, coupled with a 5.0% increase in admission revenue per capita, to a record $43.98. That put total revenue per visitor at a record $80.59, up 6.4% from a year ago.
Attendance for the quarter was 6.3 million guests, an increase 7.8% from the same period last year, but down 3.1% from the same period in 2019. SeaWorld blamed lower international visitation and group sales for decline, noting that non-group domestic attendance was up approximately 3.3% in the quarter over the same period in 2019.
"We are pleased to report our fifth consecutive quarter of record financial results," said SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. CEO Marc Swanson said. "While we were focused on getting all of our parks open and fully operating during the summer season for the first time since 2019, we could have had more effective cost management during the quarter. We can and will work to do a better job going forward, consistent with what we have been doing for the past several years. We have several new projects and initiatives in flight that we expect will help us work to offset the unusually high inflationary pressures and become a more efficient and profitable operating business."
"We continue to benefit from a very strong financial position," Swanson said. "Given this strong financial position, our clear belief in our go forward prospects and what we believe is an extremely attractive value being offered by the markets, we continued to aggressively repurchase shares during the second quarter and into the third quarter, exhausting the entirety of our prior repurchase authorizations. And today we are announcing a new $250 million buyback authorization."
A quarter billion could pay for some pretty nice attractions that would drive a lot of attendance and guest spending for the company. Or it could lock in wage increases that would stabilize SeaWorld's workforce at levels that would allow the company to become an industry leader in customer service. But, like Cedar Fair yesterday, it looks like propping up the stock price to the benefit of shareholders and management is a bigger priority for the company right now.
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