Universal Orlando Makes Record Profits Thanks to Harry Potter

Filed under: Business,Florida News,Leisure,Theme Parks,Universal Orlando |

Good news for the Orlando area emerged this week as Universal Orlando announced  that attendance was up 20%.

Universal said Monday it drew 11.2 million visitors in 2010, an increase of nearly 2 million from 2009, as huge crowds descended on the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which opened last June in the resort’s Islands of Adventure theme park.

It was Universal’s highest attendance since 2004, when it drew 12.1 million people, and third-best in the resort’s history.

The two-park resort recorded even bigger gains in other categories. Annual revenue leapt 41 percent to $1.1 billion, as tourists paid higher prices for tickets and then plunked down cash for magic wands, chocolate frogs and other Potter-themed souvenirs and food. Operating profit soared 79 percent to $267 million.

Both were all-time bests for Universal.

“2010 was an important and exciting year for Universal Orlando, our guests and our team-members,” Bill Davis, the resort’s president, said in a statement. “We look forward to 2011 and we will continue to work hard at providing a great experience for our guests.”

The big full-year gains followed a record-setting final three months of the year for Universal, during which year-over-year attendance skyrocketed 46 percent to 3.3 million visitors. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 81 percent to $359 million. Quarterly operating profit nearly quadrupled, from $30 million to $115 million.

And that came after a third quarter in which attendance rose 36 percent to 3.7 million, revenue rose 62 percent to $364 million, and operating profit more than doubled to $127 million.

That can only be good news in this economy and we all look forward to the upcoming expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter that is rumored to  be on the cards.

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