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Lego film fails to build momentum for theme park firm Merlin Entertainments.

Byline: JESS CLARK @jclarkjourno

THEME park operator Merlin Entert-ainments yesterday reported weaker trading at Legoland in the first half of the year due to poor weather and a lack of visitor momentum from the latest Lego film release.

Revenue rose in the 26 weeks to 29 June to PS763m - up from PS706m the previous year. Underlying profit before tax was down 24.4 per cent to PS34m from PS43m.

Merlin said the release of The Lego Movie 2 had not delivered the momentum it was expecting in the first half. Wet weather in May and June also dampened Merlin's results.

However, the company reported improvement at its London attractions, which includes Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and the London Dungeons.

Merlin, which received a PS4.8bn takeover offer from the family behind Lego and Blackstone in June, also warned that the opening of its largest Legoland site in New York could be delayed.

The park is expected to open in 2020. However, this morning the Alton Towers owner said that on-site accommodation provision has been pushed back until 2021.

"Timetable and costs are under pressure given the scale and complexity of the project," Merlin said.

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Publication:City AM (London, England)
Date:Aug 2, 2019
Words:208
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