Cedar Fair Reports Record 2015 Results; Expects Solid Growth to Continue Into 2016

Feb 17, 2016, 04:00 ET from Cedar Fair

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today reported record financial results for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Highlights

  • The Company reported record full-year net revenues of $1.24 billion, up 7% from 2014; net income of $112 million, or $1.99 per diluted limited partner (LP) unit, was up $8 million from a year ago.
  • Adjusted EBITDA for the full year was a record $459 million, up approximately 7% from last year.
  • Attendance at Cedar Fair's parks was a record 24.4 million guests, a 1.1 million-visit, or 5%, increase from 2014.
  • The renovation of the historic Hotel Breakers along Cedar Point's mile-long beach was a significant contributor to the Company's $11 million, or 8%, increase in out-of-park revenues to a record $138 million.
  • The Company remains confident in the strength of its strategy and business model and now expects to achieve its FUNforward 2.0 long-term growth goal of $500 million, or more, in Adjusted EBITDA earlier than its original target of 2018.

Commenting on the Company's year-end results for 2015, Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer said, "We produced another outstanding year with solid increases across the board in attendance, guest spending and out-of-park revenues.  We firmly believe our commitment to creating a compelling entertainment experience for the whole family has led us to our sixth consecutive year of record results and we fully expect this trend to continue into 2016."

Revenues were very strong across the Company's parks this past year, with increases at Carowinds, Knott's Berry Farm and Cedar Point leading the way.  Significant attendance increases in both season pass and advance sales categories, combined with increases in average guest per capita spending across all major categories, contributed to the Company's broad ranging success.

"While 2015 was a remarkable year for Cedar Fair, our attention is now turned to 2016 where we expect these record trends to continue," said Ouimet.   "Over the next several months we have many exciting initiatives coming online, including: Valravn, a world-record-breaking roller coaster at Cedar Point; Carolina Harbor, a newly branded and expanded water park at Carowinds; Ghost Town Alive! an interactive guest experience at Knott's Berry Farm; the introduction of WinterFest at California's Great America; and FunPix, our new digital imaging platform which will be introduced at five parks in 2016.

"We have a solid foundation which we can continue to build upon.  Our strong and loyal season pass base continues to grow, our incentivized sales teams continue to identify new prospects, and our CRM platform is now populated with historical data allowing us to communicate more effectively with guests who have committed to a visit and identify prospective guests more efficiently.  We remain focused on creating long-term value for our unitholders through distribution increases and deploying capital back into our business.  This balanced approach is what has generated strong returns for our unitholders in the past and what we believe will produce attractive returns in the future," concluded Ouimet.

2015 Full-Year Results

For the full year ended December 31, 2015, Cedar Fair generated record net revenues of $1.24 billion and net income of $112 million, or $1.99 per diluted LP unit, compared with net revenues of $1.16 billion and net income of $104 million, or $1.86 per diluted LP unit, in 2014.

Driving the $76 million, or 7%, increase in net revenues was a 5%, or 1.1 million-visit, increase in attendance to a record 24.4 million visits, a 1%, or $0.66, increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to a record $46.20 and an 8%, or $11 million, increase in out-of-park revenues to a record $138 million.

Operating costs and expenses for 2015 totaled $794 million, up $46 million, or 6%, from the prior year.  The increase in costs for the year was largely attributable to the parks entertaining a record number of guests in 2015.  Also contributing to the increase were higher labor and maintenance costs as the Company continued to invest in its employees and its infrastructure and higher incentive compensation due to the strong current year performance.  As a percentage of sales, operating costs and expenses were comparable with the prior year.

Adjusted EBITDA, which management believes is a meaningful measure of the Company's park-level operating results, increased 7%, or $28 million, to $459 million, compared with $431 million last year.  Adjusted EBITDA margin improvement was driven by a significant lift in attendance, the continued growth of premium product offerings such as FastLane and the introduction of All-Season Dining across all of the Company's parks.  These factors were offset by negative foreign currency translation and incremental investments to support the overall guest experience, making Adjusted EBITDA margin, as reported, comparable with last year.  See the attached table for a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA.

Cash Flow and Liquidity Remain Strong

Brian Witherow, Cedar Fair's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said, "Our liquidity and cash flow remain strong.  The record results of the past six years, combined with the steps we've taken on the capital structure front, have us well positioned heading into 2016 and provide us great financial flexibility.  We are in an excellent position to capitalize on a variety of opportunities, ultimately aimed at creating added value for our unitholders over the long-term."

As of December 31, 2015, Cedar Fair had $609 million of variable-rate debt (before giving consideration to fixed-rate interest rate swaps), $950 million of fixed-rate debt, no outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facilities and cash on hand of $120 million.  The Company's cash flows from operations and credit facilities are expected to be sufficient to meet working capital needs, debt service, planned capital expenditures and distributions for the foreseeable future.

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call with analysts today, February 17, 2016, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, which will be webcast live in "listen only" mode via the Cedar Fair website www.cedarfair.com under the Investors tab.  It will also be available for replay starting at approximately 1:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, February 17, 2016, until 11:59 p.m. ET, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.  In order to access the replay of the earnings call, please dial 1-877-870-5176 followed by the access code 592947.

About Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world.  The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, three outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels.  Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario.  Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract.  Cedar Fair's flagship park, Cedar Point, has been consistently voted one of the "Best Amusement Parks in the World" in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to the Company's expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future.  These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements.  Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct.  Important factors, including general economic conditions, adverse weather conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, unanticipated construction delays, changes in the Company's capital investment plans and projects and other factors discussed from time to time by the Company in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") could affect attendance at the Company's parks and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations. Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

This news release and prior news releases are available online at www.cedarfair.com.

 

CEDAR FAIR, L.P.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS AND COMPREHENSIVE INCOME

(In thousands, except per unit amounts)




Three months ended


Twelve months ended



12/31/2015


12/31/2014


12/31/2015


12/31/2014

Net revenues:









Admissions


$

95,985



$

95,329



$

687,442



$

661,455


Food, merchandise and games


50,034



43,503



398,019



365,528


Accommodations, extra-charge products and other


20,897



21,975



150,317



132,622




166,916



160,807



1,235,778



1,159,605


Costs and expenses:









Cost of food, merchandise and games revenues


13,959



12,321



104,827



95,208


Operating expenses


93,606



89,888



517,626



496,079


Selling, general and administrative


38,213



31,638



171,490



156,864


Depreciation and amortization


15,456



14,761



125,631



124,286


Loss on impairment / retirement of fixed assets, net


11,437



7,070



20,873



9,757


Gain on sale of other assets








(921)




172,671



155,678



940,447



881,273


Operating income (loss)


(5,755)



5,129



295,331



278,332


Interest expense


22,685



22,185



86,849



96,286


Net effect of swaps


(3,922)



(1,031)



(6,884)



(2,062)


Loss on early debt extinguishment




234





29,261


Unrealized/realized foreign currency loss


16,818



18,276



81,016



40,873


Interest income


(15)



(31)



(64)



(126)


Income (loss) before taxes


(41,321)



(34,504)



134,414



114,100


Provision (benefit) for taxes


(15,642)



(16,455)



22,192



9,885


Net income (loss)


(25,679)



(18,049)



112,222



104,215


Net income (loss) allocated to general partner


(1)





1



1


Net income (loss) allocated to limited partners


$

(25,678)



$

(18,049)



$

112,221



$

104,214











Basic earnings per limited partner unit:









Weighted average limited partner units outstanding


55,811



55,439



55,745



55,548


Net income (loss) per limited partner unit


$

(0.46)



$

(0.33)



$

2.01



$

1.88


Diluted earnings per limited partner unit:









Weighted average limited partner units outstanding


55,811



55,439



56,356



55,992


Net income (loss) per limited partner unit


$

(0.46)



$

(0.33)



$

1.99



$

1.86


 

CEDAR FAIR, L.P.

BALANCE SHEET DATA





(In thousands)

12/31/2015


12/31/2014





Cash and cash equivalents

$

119,557



$

131,840


Total assets

$

1,994,880



$

2,038,319


Long-term debt, including current maturities:







Term debt

608,850



608,850


Notes

950,000



950,000



$

1,558,850



$

1,558,850


Total partners' equity

$

58,082



$

96,217


 

CEDAR FAIR, L.P.

RECONCILIATION OF ADJUSTED EBITDA



Three months ended


Twelve months ended


12/31/2015


12/31/2014


12/31/2015


12/31/2014


(In thousands)

Net income (loss)

$

(25,679)



$

(18,049)



$

112,222



$

104,215


Interest expense

22,685



22,185



86,849



96,286


Interest income

(15)



(31)



(64)



(126)


Provision (benefit) for taxes

(15,642)



(16,455)



22,192



9,885


Depreciation and amortization

15,456



14,761



125,631



124,286


EBITDA

(3,195)



2,411



346,830



334,546


Net effect of swaps

(3,922)



(1,031)



(6,884)



(2,062)


Unrealized foreign currency loss

16,803



18,360



80,946



40,883


Non-cash equity expense

8,275



4,167



15,470



12,536


Loss on impairment / retirement of fixed assets, net

11,437



7,070



20,873



9,757


Gain on sale of other assets







(921)


Loss on early extinguishment of debt



234





29,261


Class action settlement costs

82



4,953



259



4,953


Other non-recurring items (as defined) (1)

340



392



1,744



2,327


Adjusted EBITDA (2)

$

29,820



$

36,556



$

459,238



$

431,280


















(1) The Company's 2013 Credit Agreement references certain costs as non-recurring or unusual.  These items are excluded in the calculation of Adjusted EBITDA and have included certain litigation expenses, costs associated with certain ride abandonment or relocation expenses, contract termination costs, and severance expenses.

(2) Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, other non-cash items, and adjustments as defined in the 2013 Credit Agreement.  The Company believes Adjusted EBITDA is a meaningful measure of park-level operating profitability.  Adjusted EBITDA is not a measurement of operating performance computed in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and is not intended to be a substitute for operating income, net income, or cash flow from operating activities, as defined under generally accepted accounting principles.  In addition, Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies.

 

Contact: Stacy Frole, (419) 627-2227

SOURCE Cedar Fair



RELATED LINKS

http://www.cedarfair.com