ORLANDO, Fla. — Universal’s theme parks are “on a roll,” with the segment posting record earnings in the first quarter, Comcast executives said Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- Universal's theme parks continue to do well, parent company Comcast says
- The parks generated $1.95 billion in revenue in the first quarter, up 25% from the previous period last year
- The domestic parks delivered strong results; executives looking forward to projects like Epic Universe
- RELATED: Universal Creative appoints new leadership for developing attractions
Theme park revenue rose 25% to $1.95 billion, while adjusted EBITDA increased 46% to $658 million, the company reported.
The boost in revenue was mostly from the company’s international parks, which had been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions in the prior year.
But the domestic parks — Universal Orlando in Florida and Universal Studios Hollywood in California — also continue to do really well, according to executives.
In the earnings call, Comcast President Mike Cavanagh credited the opening of Super Nintendo World in Hollywood in February with driving strong attendance at the park. He also said the company saw strong results from the Orlando parks.
“And in Orlando, really solid results in the quarter,” Cavanagh said. “We had unprecedented visitation last year, way ahead of 2019, pre-COVID. So as expected, growth rates have slowed down, but performances continue to be solid.”
The earnings reports comes just days after NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell left the company following an investigation into “inappropriate conduct.” Cavanaugh will now, while remaining president, run the division — which includes Universal’s theme parks, film studio and Peacock streaming service.
“So while I’ll have to work a little harder, and frankly, I’m energized to do so because I look forward actually to spending time getting closer to the NBCU businesses and spending more time deeper in them and with the leaders there,” he said.
The company has also been investing in its theme parks, with new attractions and lands on the way. In the earnings call, executives listed a number of upcoming projects, including the addition of a Donkey Kong-themed area to Super Nintendo World in 2024 and the new Epic Universe theme park slated to open in Orlando in 2025.
Comcast is also expanding its parks and experiences business to other markets. In January, the company revealed plans for a smaller family park concept near Dallas and a year-round horror experience in Las Vegas.