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SEAS > SEC Filings for SEAS > Form 10-K on 21-Mar-2014All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

Form 10-K for SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT, INC.


21-Mar-2014

Annual Report


Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

The following discussion contains management's discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations and should be read together with "Selected Financial Data" and the historical consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data". This discussion contains forward-looking statements that reflect our plans, estimates and beliefs and involve numerous risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to those described in the "Risk Factors" section of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Actual results may differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. You should carefully read "Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors."

Business Overview

We are a leading theme park and entertainment company delivering personal, interactive and educational experiences that blend imagination with nature and enable our customers to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world we share. We own or license a portfolio of globally recognized brands, including SeaWorld, Shamu and Busch Gardens. Over our more than 50 year history, we have built a diversified portfolio of 11 destination and regional theme parks that are grouped in key markets across the United States, many of which showcase our one-of-a-kind collection of approximately 86,000 marine and terrestrial animals. Our theme parks feature a diverse array of rides, shows and other attractions with broad demographic appeal which deliver memorable experiences and a strong value proposition for our guests. In addition to our theme parks, we have recently begun to leverage our brands into media, entertainment and consumer products. During the year ended December 31, 2013, we hosted approximately 23.4 million guests, including approximately 3.7 million international guests. In the years ended December 31, 2013, we had total revenues of $1,460.3 million and net income of $50.5 million.

Key Business Metrics Evaluated by Management

Attendance

We define attendance as the number of guest visits to our theme parks. Increased attendance drives increased admissions revenue to our theme parks as well as total in-park spending. The level of attendance at our theme parks is a function of many factors, including the opening of new attractions and shows, weather, global and regional economic conditions, competitive offerings and overall consumer confidence in the economy.

Total Revenue Per Capita

Total revenue per capita, defined as total revenue divided by total attendance, consists of admission per capita and in-park per capita spending:

Admission Per Capita. We calculate admission per capita for any period as total admissions revenue divided by total attendance. Theme park admissions accounted for approximately 63% of our total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013. Over the same period of time, we reported $39.37 in admission per capita, representing an increase of 8.6% from $36.26 for the year ended December 31, 2012. Admission per capita is driven by ticket pricing, the mix of tickets purchased (such as single day, multi-day and annual pass) and the mix of attendance by theme parks visited.

In-Park Per Capita Spending. We calculate in-park per capita spending for any period as total food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance. For the year ended December 31, 2013, food, merchandise and other revenue accounted for approximately 37% of our total revenue. Over the same time period, we reported $23.05 of in-park per capita spending, representing an increase of 4.3% from $22.11 for the year ended December 31, 2012. In-park per capita spending is driven by pricing changes, penetration levels (percentage of guests purchasing), new product offerings, the mix of guests and the mix of in-park spending.


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Trends Affecting Our Results of Operations

Our success depends to a significant extent on discretionary consumer spending, which is heavily influenced by general economic conditions and the availability of discretionary income. The recent severe economic downturn, coupled with high volatility and uncertainty as to the future global economic landscape, has had and continues to have an adverse effect on consumers' discretionary income and consumer confidence. Difficult economic conditions and recessionary periods may adversely impact attendance figures, the frequency with which guests choose to visit our theme parks and guest spending patterns at our theme parks. Historically, our revenue and attendance growth have been highly correlated with domestic economic growth, as reflected in the gross domestic product ("GDP") and the overall level of growth in domestic consumer spending. For example, in 2009 and 2010, we experienced a decline in attendance as a result of the global economic crisis, which in turn adversely affected our revenue and profitability. We expect that forecasted moderate improvements in GDP and growth in domestic consumer spending will have a positive impact on our future performance. Both attendance and total revenue per capita at our theme parks are key drivers of our revenue and profitability, and reductions in either can materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Seasonality

The theme park industry is seasonal in nature. Based upon historical results, we generate the highest revenues in the second and third quarters of each year, in part because six of our theme parks are only open for a portion of the year. Approximately two-thirds of our attendance and revenues are generated in the second and third quarters of the year and we typically incur a net loss in the first and fourth quarters. The mix of revenues by quarter is relatively constant, but revenues can shift between the first and second quarters due to the timing of Easter or between the first and fourth quarters due to the timing of Christmas and New Year's. Even for our five theme parks open year-round, attendance patterns have significant seasonality, driven by holidays, school vacations and weather conditions. One of our goals in managing our business is to continue to generate cash flow throughout the year and minimize the effects of seasonality. In recent years, we have begun to encourage attendance during non-peak times by offering a variety of seasonal programs and events, such as kids festivals, special concert series, and Halloween and Christmas events. In addition, during seasonally slow times, operating costs are controlled by reducing operating hours and show schedules. Employment levels required for peak operations are met largely through part-time and seasonal hiring.

Principal Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

Revenues

Our revenues are driven primarily by attendance in our theme parks and the level of per capita spending for admission to the theme parks and per capita spending inside the theme parks for culinary, merchandise and other in-park experiences. The level of attendance in our theme parks is a function of many factors, including the opening of new attractions and shows, weather, global and regional economic conditions, competitive offerings and consumer confidence. Admission per capita is driven by ticket pricing, the mix of ticket type purchased (such as single day, multi-day and annual pass) and the mix of attendance by theme parks visited. In-park per capita spending is driven by pricing changes, penetration levels (percentage of guests purchasing), new product offerings, the mix of guests and the mix of in-park spending. For other factors affecting our revenues, see "Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry."

In addition to the theme parks, we are also involved in entertainment, media and consumer product businesses that leverage our intellectual property. While these businesses currently do not represent a material percentage of our revenue, they are important strategic drivers in terms of consumer awareness and brand building. We aim to expand these businesses into a greater source of revenue in the future.

Costs and Expenses

The principal costs of our operations are employee salaries, employee benefits, advertising, maintenance, animal care, utilities and insurance. Factors that affect our costs and expenses include commodity prices, costs


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for construction, repairs and maintenance, other inflationary pressures and attendance levels. A large portion of our expenses is relatively fixed because the costs for full-time employees, maintenance, animal care, utilities, advertising and insurance do not vary significantly with attendance. For factors affecting our costs and expenses, see "Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business and Our Industry."

We barter theme park admission products for advertising and various other products and services. The fair value of the admission products is recognized into revenue and related expenses at the time of the exchange and approximates the fair value of the goods or services received.

Results of Operations

The following discussion provides an analysis of our audited consolidated financial data for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011. This data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data."

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2013 and 2012

The following table presents key operating and financial information for the
years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012:



                                                                   For the Year Ended
                                                                      December 31,
                                                                 2013               2012
                                                               (In thousands, except per
                                                                      capita data)
Statement of comprehensive income data:
Net revenues:
Admissions                                                  $      921,016       $   884,407
Food, merchandise and other                                        539,234           539,345

Total revenues                                                   1,460,250         1,423,752

Costs and expenses:
Cost of food, merchandise and other revenues                       114,192           118,559
Operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and
amortization shown separately below)                               739,989           726,509
Selling, general and administrative                                187,298           184,920
Termination of advisory agreement                                   50,072                -
Secondary offering costs                                             1,407                -
Depreciation and amortization                                      166,086           166,975

Total costs and expenses                                         1,259,044         1,196,963

Operating income                                                   201,206           226,789
Other income, net                                                      241             1,563
Interest expense                                                    93,536           111,426
Loss on early extinguishment of debt and write-off of
discounts and deferred financing costs                              32,429                -

Income before income taxes                                          75,482           116,926
Provision for income taxes                                          25,004            39,482

Net income                                                  $       50,478       $    77,444

Other data:
Attendance                                                          23,391            24,391

Total revenue per capita                                    $        62.43       $     58.37


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Admissions revenue. Admissions revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013 increased $36.6 million (4.1%) to $921.0 million as compared to $884.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. The increase in revenue was a result of an 8.6% increase in admission per capita from $36.26 in 2012 to $39.37 in 2013 offset by a 4.1% decrease in total attendance. The improvement in admission per capita was primarily a result of higher ticket pricing and yield management strategies implemented at the beginning of 2013. Attendance for 2013 declined primarily due to the anticipated impact of these new pricing and yield management strategies, which increased revenue but reduced low yielding and free attendance. Also contributing to the decline was unexpected adverse weather conditions, particularly during the second quarter and in July of 2013. The unfavorable timing of Easter on March 31 in 2013 also contributed to the attendance decline as it caused an overlap with the spring break holiday period for schools in many of our key markets.

Food, merchandise and other revenue. Food, merchandise and other revenue for the year ended December 31, 2013 decreased slightly by $0.1 million (less than 0.1%) to $539.2 million as compared to $539.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. This decrease was a result of the decrease in attendance offset by a 4.3% increase in in-park per capita spending from $22.11 in 2012 to $23.05 in 2013. The increase in in-park per capita spending was primarily due to targeted price increases and increased in-park offerings reflecting our continued efforts to provide incremental and enhanced service offerings.

Costs of food, merchandise and other revenues. Costs of food, merchandise and other revenues for the year ended December 31, 2013 decreased $4.4 million (3.7%) to $114.2 million as compared to $118.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, due primarily to improved culinary margins from leveraged purchasing efforts and operational efficiencies. These costs represent 21.2% of related revenue earned for the year ended December 31, 2013 and 21.9% of related revenue earned for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Operating expenses. Operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2013 increased by $13.5 million (1.9%) to $740.0 million as compared to $726.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. The increase was primarily a result of increased direct labor costs, additional operating costs to support new attractions and our new Aquatica San Diego park which opened in 2013, partially offset by decreased miscellaneous asset write-offs and successful expense reductions implemented during the year. Operating expenses reflected 50.7% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2013 and 51.0% for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Selling, general and administrative. Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2013 increased by $2.4 million (1.3%) to $187.3 million as compared to $184.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. This increase was primarily a result of additional equity compensation expense primarily related to a new restricted stock grant in April 2013 as well as an increase in corporate salaries due to planned additions to our corporate structure as a result of our initial public offering and the related increased public company requirements offset by the elimination of the 2009 Advisory Agreement fees due to the termination of this agreement in April 2013 and expense savings from utilizing more efficient marketing channels and consolidating our media buying. As a percentage of total revenue, selling, general and administrative expenses were 12.8% for the year ended December 31, 2013 compared to 13.0% for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Termination of advisory agreement. In connection with the completion of our initial public offering on April 24, 2013, the 2009 Advisory Agreement was terminated. In connection with such termination, we paid a termination fee of $46.3 million to an affiliate of Blackstone and recorded a write-off of $3.8 million in 2013 prepaid advisory fees.

Secondary offering costs. On December 17, 2013, the selling stockholders completed an underwritten secondary offering of our common stock. The selling stockholders received all of the net proceeds from the offering and no shares were sold by us. In connection with this secondary offering, we incurred fees and expenses of $1.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2013 decreased by $0.9 million (0.5%) to $166.1 million as compared to $167.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 due to the impact of fully depreciated assets offset by new asset additions.


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Interest expense. Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2013 decreased $17.9 million (16.1%) to $93.5 million as compared to $111.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2012, primarily reflecting the effects of our March 2012 and May 2013 amendments to the terms of our Senior Secured Credit Facilities, which reduced our interest rates as well as the redemption of $140.0 million of our Senior Notes and the repayment of $37.0 million under our Term B Loan in April 2013 with a portion of the net proceeds from our initial public offering.

Loss on early extinguishment of debt and write-off of discounts and deferred financing costs . Loss on early extinguishment of debt and write-off of discounts and deferred financing costs of $32.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2013 relates to a $15.4 million premium paid for the early redemption of $140.0 million of our Senior Notes with a portion of the net proceeds from our initial public offering in April 2013, along with a write-off of approximately $5.5 million in related discounts and deferred financing costs and the write-off of approximately $11.5 million of certain debt issuance costs in connection with Amendment No. 5 to our Senior Secured Credit Facilities.

Provision for income taxes. The provision for income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $25.0 million compared to $39.5 million in the year ended December 31, 2012. The decrease primarily results from the decrease in pretax income in the year ended 2013 compared to the year ended 2012, along with a decrease in our effective income tax rate (from 33.8% to 33.1%). Our effective income tax rate decreased due to a benefit arising from certain federal tax credits and prior year true-ups offset by the impact of non-deductible costs, including non-deductible offering costs, certain officer compensation and certain equity compensation awards.

Comparison of the Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011

The following table presents key operating and financial information for the
years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011:



                                                                 For the Year Ended
                                                                    December 31,
                                                               2012               2011
                                                             (In thousands, except per
                                                                    capita data)
Statement of comprehensive income data:
Net revenues:
Admissions                                                $      884,407       $   824,937
Food, merchandise and other                                      539,345           505,837

Total revenues                                                 1,423,752         1,330,774

Costs and expenses:
Cost of food, merchandise and other revenues                     118,559           112,498
Operating expenses (exclusive of depreciation and
amortization shown separately below)                             726,509           687,999
Selling, general and administrative                              184,920           172,368
Depreciation and amortization                                    166,975           213,592

Total costs and expenses                                       1,196,963         1,186,457

Operating income                                                 226,789           144,317
Other income (expense), net                                        1,563            (1,679 )
Interest expense                                                 111,426           110,097

Income before income taxes                                       116,926            32,541
Provision for income taxes                                        39,482            13,428

Net income                                                $       77,444       $    19,113

Other data:
Attendance                                                        24,391            23,631

Total revenue per capita                                  $        58.37       $     56.31


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Admissions revenue. Admissions revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $59.5 million (7%) to $884.4 million as compared to $824.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The increase in revenue was a result of a 4% increase in admission per capita from $34.91 in 2011 to $36.26 in 2012 and a 3% increase in total attendance. The increase in admission per capita was primarily a result of higher ticket pricing and reduced discounts corresponding with the opening of the Manta rollercoaster at SeaWorld San Diego and the Aquatica attraction at SeaWorld San Antonio, as well as increased real consumer spending growth from improved macroeconomic conditions. Increased attendance was primarily driven by increased real consumer spending, as well as the opening of the Manta rollercoaster at SeaWorld San Diego, the Aquatica attraction at SeaWorld San Antonio, the TurtleTrek attraction at SeaWorld Orlando and the Verbolten rollercoaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Food, merchandise and other revenue. Food, merchandise and other revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $33.5 million (7%) to $539.3 million as compared to $505.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The increase in revenue was a result of a 3% increase in in-park per capita spending from $21.41 in 2011 to $22.11 in 2012 and a 3% increase in total attendance. The increase in in-park per capita spending was driven primarily by price increases and product promotion.

Costs of food, merchandise and other revenues. Costs of food, merchandise and other revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $6.1 million (5%) to $118.6 million as compared to $112.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. These costs represent 21.9% of related revenue earned for the year ended December 31, 2012 and 22.2% of related revenue earned for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Operating expenses. Operating expenses for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $38.5 million (6%) to $726.5 million as compared to $688.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The increase was primarily driven by increased operating costs relating to new attractions and increased variable costs due to our higher sales volume. These expenses reflected 51.0% of total revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 and 51.7% for the year ended December 31, 2011.

Selling, general and administrative. Selling, general and administrative expenses for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $12.5 million (7%) to $184.9 million as compared to $172.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. This increase primarily reflects an increase in marketing expenditures and higher corporate expenses resulting from the build-out of our corporate office staff.

Depreciation and amortization. Depreciation and amortization expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 decreased $46.6 million (22%) to $167.0 million as compared to $213.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2011. The decrease was primarily attributable to the partial year impact of assets designated with two-year lives at the December 1, 2009 transaction date, which are now fully depreciated, partially offset by asset additions.

Interest expense. Interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $1.3 million (1%) to $111.4 million as compared to $110.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, primarily reflecting the effects of our March 2012 debt refinancing, which increased the amount of our outstanding principal balance of our long-term debt and reduced the interest rates on our long-term debt. See our consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a further description of the terms of the refinancing.

Provision for income taxes. Provision for income taxes for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $26.1 million (194%) to $39.5 million as compared to $13.4 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, which primarily reflects an increase in taxable earnings and was partially offset by a decrease in our effective income tax rate (from 41.3% to 33.8%). Our effective income tax rate decreased due to changes in our state tax planning structure along with certain non-recurring tax credits.


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Liquidity and Capital Resources

Overview

Our principal sources of liquidity are cash generated from operations, funds from borrowings and existing cash on hand. Our principal uses of cash include the funding of working capital obligations, debt service, investments in theme parks (including capital projects), and common stock dividends. As of December 31, 2013, we had a working capital deficit of approximately $9.6 million. We typically operate with a working capital deficit and we expect that we will continue to have working capital deficits in the future. The working capital deficits are due in part to a significant deferred revenue balance from revenues paid in advance for our theme park admissions products and high turnover of in-park products that results in a limited inventory balance. Our cash flow from operations, along with our revolving credit facilities, have allowed us to meet our liquidity needs while maintaining a working capital deficit.

As market conditions warrant and subject to our contractual restrictions and liquidity position, we, our affiliates and/or our major stockholders, including Blackstone and its affiliates, may from time to time repurchase our outstanding equity and/or debt securities, including the Senior Notes and/or our outstanding bank loans in privately negotiated or open market transactions, by tender offer or otherwise. Any such repurchases may be funded by incurring new debt, including additional borrowings under the Senior Secured Credit Facilities. Any new debt may also be secured debt. We may also use available cash on our balance sheet. The amounts involved in any such transactions, individually or in the aggregate, may be material. Further, since some of our debt may trade at a discount to the face amount, any such purchases may result in our acquiring and retiring a substantial amount of any particular series, with the attendant reduction in the trading liquidity of any such series.

In June 2013, our Board of Directors adopted a policy to pay quarterly dividends. As a result, we declared quarterly cash dividends of $0.20 per share to all common stockholders of record at the close of business on June 20, September 20 and December 20, 2013, which were paid on July 1, 2013, October 1, 2013 and January 3, 2014, respectively. On March 4, 2014, we . . .

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