This past week Cedar Fair made its formal announcements of earnings for the 4th quarter of 2015, along with the entire year. 2015 marked the 6th consecutive year of record results - here's some items I found interesting on the investor conference call to cover the news.
• Cedar Fair posted record attendance (24.4 million, up 1.1 million), guest spending ($46.20), out-of-park revenues (up $11 million to $138 million), overall net revenues (up 7% to $1.24 billion) and EBITDA (up 7% to $459 million) in 2015.
• The company saw increased revenues at all its properties except for one, which remained unnamed, and that one property just came off of 7 years of increasing revenues.
• Carowinds also had a very strong year on the debut of big changes that included Fury 325, surpassing 2 million visitors for the first time. The park has also been rebranded in the local marketplace and the company will "aggressively invest" in the park moving forward.
• The recently announced WinterFest at California's Great America is a test run for the event; once the park learns from it at the end of this year they plan to bring it to additional parks in 2017. They won't say which parks yet, but pointed out that they're focused on parks in slightly warmer climates for now.
• FunPix, the company's new photo souvenir system, is tied into new apps that are debuting in season at the 5 largest parks. It just started at Knott's and has had a great response so far.
• Total capital expenditures in 2015 were $175 million, larger than any year I can remember for Cedar Fair. The next two years should come in around $150 million each, and the company is no longer giving an estimate of spending going forward due to many variables - one of which are for large growth opportunities that also cost more (like a new hotel). Long ago the company stated they spend about 9% of revenues on capital expansions on a consistent basis each year.