Merlin Entertainments has reported “a material uncertainty” in its ability to continue as a going concern due to Coronavirus restrictions, as part of its 2019 accounts released on 24 April.
The attractions operator, which has closed 121 of its 130 worldwide sites during the lockdown period, took a cautious view of its future amid plans to cut 45 percent of operating costs.
“The effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic on our business and the wider attractions industry will ultimately depend on a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the duration and severity of the outbreak and the length of time it takes for demand and pricing to return,” said a spokesperson for the company.
“We cannot currently estimate this with any certainty, nor can we provide any assurance that Covid-19 will not continue to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.”
The company announced cost-cutting measures including the furlough of 80 percent of its staff, cutting marketing expenditure, and engaging with landlords to propose rent deferrals during the closure period.
However, monthly expenditure will still average at £50m a month, leading Merlin to conclude the crisis could deliver “a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt on the Group and the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”