Monday, July 25, 2011

Positive financial report from Six Flags 15 months after emerging from Chapter 11

Six Flags Reports 5 Percent Revenue Growth, 7 Percent Guest Spending Growth, and 20 Percent Adjusted EBITDA Growth in Second Quarter; Company Sets New Long-Term Profit Target

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, July 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE:
SIX) today announced second quarter 2011 revenue increased 5 percent over the prior year period to $339 million and Adjusted EBITDA(1) increased 20 percent to $114 million. For the first six months of the year, revenue grew 6 percent to $400 million and Adjusted EBITDA grew 86 percent to $65 million. Higher admissions revenue, stronger guest spending in the parks and lower cash operating costs contributed to the company's improved profitability for both the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2011. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, Adjusted EBITDA was $325 million.

"I am very pleased with our team's execution," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "We registered record guest satisfaction scores in the quarter and delivered improvements in all key financial metrics including revenue, profitability and cash flow. We are successfully implementing a multi-year strategy to create value for our shareholders."

Revenue growth in the second quarter was driven by a $15 million or 9 percent increase in admissions revenue and a $5 million or 4 percent increase in in-park revenue, offset by a $3 million decline in revenue related primarily to sponsorships and international licensing. Total revenue per capita for the second quarter of 2011 was $41.12, compared to $39.00 for the second quarter of 2010, an increase of $2.12 or 5 percent.

Admissions revenue per capita of $22.28 increased $1.88 or 9 percent, in-park revenue per capita of $17.08 increased $0.62 or 4 percent, and overall guest spending per capita increased $2.50 or 7 percent. During the second quarter, guest attendance grew slightly to 8.2 million.

Revenue growth in the first six months of 2011 was driven by an $18 million or 9 percent increase in admissions revenue and a $7 million or 5 percent increase in in-park revenue, offset by a $4 million decline in revenue related primarily to sponsorships and international licensing. Total revenue per capita for the first half of 2011 was $42.04 as compared to $39.85 for the first six months of 2010, an increase of $2.19 or 5 percent. Admissions revenue per capita of $22.06 increased $1.86 or 9 percent, in-park revenue per capita of $17.19 increased $0.73 or 4 percent, and overall guest spending per capita increased $2.59 or 7 percent. During the first six months of 2011, guest attendance grew slightly to 9.5 million.

Cash operating costs during the second quarter 2011 of $208 million were $5 million lower than the same period in 2010 primarily due to a reduction in cash compensation costs. For the first six months of 2011 cash operating costs of $321 million were $12 million or 3 percent lower than the same period in 2010 primarily due to lower cash compensation and marketing costs.

The second quarter 2011 Modified EBITDA(2) margin improved 415 basis points over the same period in 2010 to 38.6 percent. For the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, Modified EBITDA margin improved 760 basis points over the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2010 to 35.5 percent.

Cash earnings per share(3) for the twelve months ended June 30, 2011 was $3.11. Since the company emerged from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 with a new capital structure, the prior period cash earnings per share figure is not meaningful.

Free Cash Flow(4), which for the company is defined as Adjusted EBITDA less capital expenditures, cash interest and cash taxes, was $61 million in the second quarter, and included $37 million of capital spending.

Net Debt(5) as of June 30, 2011 was $829 million compared to $896 million as of March 31, 2011—an improvement of $67 million. During the second quarter, the company paid $2 million in dividends and made a $30 million arbitration settlement payment, including associated interest and fees, relating to the company's former CFO. In addition, the company repurchased approximately $22 million or 574,000 shares of its stock at an average purchase price of $38.26 under a three-year, $60 million plan approved by the board of directors in February 2011. During the first six months of 2011, the company repurchased approximately $42 million or 1,166,000 shares of its stock at an average purchase price of $35.60.

The company had $142 million of cash on hand as of June 30, 2011 and a net debt to last-twelve-months Adjusted EBITDA ratio of 2.6 times.

During the second quarter the company implemented a two-for-one stock split.

Long-Term Outlook

Six Flags also announced today a new long-term profit target, which is an aspirational goal of delivering $500 million of Modified EBITDA(5) by calendar year 2015. During the twelve months ended June 30, 2011, the company generated $354 million of Modified EBITDA.

Conference Call
The company hosted a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. Central Time to discuss its second quarter and first six months financial results. To hear a replay of the call, dial 1-855-859-2056 or +1-404-537-3406 through August 8, 2011.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Over Texas, the company's flagship location, is celebrating its 50th anniversary season in 2011.

Fresh Start Reporting

In connection with the company's emergence from Chapter 11 on April 30, 2010 and the application of fresh start reporting upon emergence in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 852, "Reorganizations", the results for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2011 and the two-month period ended June 30, 2010, respectively (the company is referred to during such periods as the "Successor") and the results for the one- and four-month periods ended April 30, 2010 (the company is referred to during such periods as the "Predecessor") are presented separately. This presentation is required by United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), as the Successor is considered to be a new entity for financial reporting purposes, and the results of the Successor reflect the application of fresh-start reporting. Accordingly, the company's financial statements after April 30, 2010, are not comparable to its financial statements for any period prior to its emergence from Chapter 11.