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Pleasure Beach hit by summer gloom

The Pleasure Beachs profits have been hit by bad weather in 2012. Below: MD Amanda Thompson who is hoping to hit back with new price offers for the coming season.

The Pleasure Beachs profits have been hit by bad weather in 2012. Below: MD Amanda Thompson who is hoping to hit back with new price offers for the coming season.

Miserable weather and the hangover of economic gloom is being blamed for an increase in losses at the Pleasure Beach as it unveiled its 2012/13 accounts.

But bosses are hitting back with plans to boost visitor numbers including a price freeze for the coming season, a 10-day in advance online deal, family wristbands and low season deals for the start on February 8.

The trading period covered by the latest report – for the year up until March 24, 2013 – included the dismal weather of April, June and July 2012 which resulted in a decrease in visitor numbers to Blackpool.

The group which includes the theme park, the Big Blue Hotel and South Shore Mutual Insurance Company, Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Holdings) Ltd, posted a pre-tax loss of £1.5m for the year – compared to a pre-tax loss of £524,000 the previous year and a profit of £329,00 in 2011.

It provided jobs for 680 during the period, with 235 being permanent employees.

The Pleasure Beach had had high hopes for its £9m Nickelodeon Land attraction during the period but the weather held back progress in its second season.

Last year it unveiled its new £3.8m Wallace and Gromit Thrill-O-Matic ride which has been well received by visiting families.

A spokesman said: “Sales for the year ending March 2013 were around £2.5m below budget and £1.7m less than the previous year.

“The weather during the 2012 season, the worst in 100 years, impacted on the financial results for the amusement park culminating in this disappointing end-of-year results. Costs during this period, however, were controlled.

“The increased park sales achieved in the prior year when the UK’s first Nickelodeon Land was launched were unfortunately lost in this financial year, again predominantly due to the terrible weather we experienced.

“We enjoyed a positive start to the 2013 season when the park launched the world’s first Wallace & Gromit-themed family ride.

“Sales have increased but the ongoing uncertainty of the UK economy has had an impact on visitors. With this in mind, we have introduced a new pricing strategy for the 2014 season.”

Managing Director Amanda Thompson, added: “We want to give our guests excellent value for money and the new prices for the 2014 will ensure this continues to happen. We can’t wait for the new season to start on February 8.”

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