Universal Orlando posts record first quarter, executives say – Orlando Sentinel

Universal Orlando reported its best first quarter results as Universal’s parks division continues to recover from the pandemic.

Executives shared some new details about Universal Orlando’s next theme park, Epic Universe, during an earnings call Thursday morning.

The company’s third Orlando theme park will be anchored by Super Nintendo World — the only theme area Universal has confirmed for the property so far — and “other key attractions,” said Brian Roberts, president. and CEO of Comcast.

Building Epic Universe will cost the company about $1 billion in capital expenditures year-over-year, chief financial officer Michael Cavanagh said.

“Our investments significantly increase the potential of our theme park business, which will remain an important and exciting growth engine for years to come,” Roberts said, adding that the division’s takeover has been “fantastic.”

The park is expected to open by summer 2025. Executives did not provide an updated schedule Thursday.

In the first quarter of 2022, Universal’s theme parks around the world attracted more visitors and higher revenue from January through March 2021, Cavanagh said. Resorts in Orlando and Japan were still operating with limited capacity at this time last year, Universal Studios Hollywood was closed and Universal Beijing Resort was not yet open.

NBCUniversal’s theme parks generated $1.5 billion in revenue last quarter, an increase of more than 150% from the $619 million recorded in the first quarter of 2021.

But international visits are still lagging at Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood at “less than half” of its normal volume for this time of year, Roberts said. Despite the drop, advance reservations are at “historic highs” for national parks throughout the summer.

Universal Orlando posted back-to-back record profits in the second half of 2021. Its fourth quarter was the “best quarter in company history for any quarter,” Roberts said in January. The Orlando property helped the company’s theme park division report its most profitable fourth quarter on record after leading it into the pandemic recovery in the previous quarter.

Much of Thursday’s call focused on Comcast’s broadband, cable and streaming services, after the company announced Wednesday it would be developing a new streaming platform with Charter.

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