New ride hopes for a high-flying fun park future

Going up: The launch of new ride, the Thrill-o-Matic in March 2013, with Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park with Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Amanda and Nick Thompson and Aardman's Merlin Crossingham

Going up: The launch of new ride, the Thrill-o-Matic in March 2013, with Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park with Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Amanda and Nick Thompson and Aardman's Merlin Crossingham

8
Have your say

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is hoping that another warm summer and its new Red Arrows ride will send profits soaring in 2015, after it released its results for 2013/14.

The parent company Blackpool Pleasure Beach Holdings reported that, during the period ending March 2014, turn-over was up at the attraction but it was still making an overall loss.

Although they do not include revenues for the summer season just gone, the losses have narrowed to £397,000 compared with £1.5m for the year before when the weather was abysmal.

Turnover rose to £30.3m compared with £30.2m for the same period the year before and gross profit also increased from £11.5m to £12.6m.

The group, which includes the theme park, the Big Blue Hotel and South Shore Mutual Insurance Company, said the season had “seen improvement” at the amusement park, with turnover rising from £25.3m to £25.89m and a reduction in pre-tax losses from £2.55m to £1.87m.

It said the improvements were due to the better weather during the 2013 season than the previous year.

A spokesman said: “The period saw an improvement in turnover and expenditure levels plus a reduction in the level of losses compared with the financial year ending March 2012.

“Attendance levels remained at a similar level to the previous year, a reflection of the economic climate and individual disposable income of our visitors.

“This year we are confident that a new strategy focused on pricing and marketing will address the economic factors affecting the business which, combined with our investment programme, gives us confident optimism for the future”.

The group said since that trading period attendances had been up 11 per cent and it was delighted to announce the opening of a new ride this spring.

Red Arrows Sky Force is a collaboration between Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the famous air display team where the rider takes a seat on their own themed plane and controls their own thrill seeker experience.

No significant capital expenditure was made in 2013/14 and the company is not recommending paying out a dividend to shareholders.

The Big Blue Hotel made money, despite a “challenging year”, with turnover of £3.8m, down from £4m the year before and pre-tax profit down from £744,000 to £690,000.