SeaWorld Entertainment, in a repeat of its past earnings saw revenues as well as attendance drop during its last quarter of 2014. However, the company did report Thursday that there were some early signs of attendance improvements in its parks.
For the last quarter of 2014, SeaWorld’s attendance was down 2.2% in comparison to the same period one year ago. However, the drop was not as sharp as the 5.1% decline during the quarter before, when SeaWorld enjoys its heaviest business.
Nevertheless, 2014 was a challenging year at the company, with attendance overall dropping by 4.2%, which the company acknowledged was due largely because of a big drop off in attendance at its marine parks in Orlando and San Diego.
Amongst the system of 11 parks, they were the theme parks that have been hit the hardest by criticism from the animal rights activists as well as publicity surrounding Blackfish a critical documentary that detailed the handling by the park of its killer whales.
The company posted a $25.4 million loss for the quarter in comparison to a loss of $13 million during the same period in 2013. Revenues were down by 3% from the 2013 fourth quarter of $272 million to $265 million.
David D’Alessandro the chairman of the board and interim CEO, while expressing his pleasure with the early 2015 trends he was seeing, noted the company was very cautious about not making its projections for further into the year only based upon a couple of months.
The latest report on earnings comes amidst the company’s ongoing search to find a new CEO to replace Jim Atchison who resigned in January following reports of continual revenue and attendance drops.
SeaWorld is spending a great deal of time on its strategies for increasing attendance, along with delivering a marketing message that is more effective to draw in more visitors in the coming year.