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Merlin Entertainments SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52688353| May 2020| 15 pages

COMPANY PROFILE -Merlin Entertainments

Business Sector :Entertainment

Operating Geography :United Kingdom, Europe, Global

About Merlin Entertainments :

Founded in December 1998, Merlin Entertainments is a British entertainments company with headquarters located in Dorset, United Kingdom. The company operates in the Consumer Services sector and deals with travel and leisure services. It also operates visitor attraction places all over the world. The operations of the company are divided into the business segments of Midway Attractions, LEGOLAND parks and Resort Theme Parks. As the name suggests, Midway Attractions are smaller and indoor based whereas Theme parks are larger and deal with destination venues. It is the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator and Europe’s largest. The company has also gone for major acquisitions like Legoland, Gardaland and The Tussauds Group. With 130 attractions, 20 hotels and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries, Merlin Entertainment lives true to its claims of delivering memorable experiences for its customers. It holds a record of achieving 94% customer satisfaction as of early 2020. The company employed around 28,000 employees in the peak season of 2019.
The vision statement of Merlin Entertainments reads, “To be the global leader in location based entertainment by number of visitors.”

Merlin Entertainments Revenue :

£1,740 million - FY ended Dec 2019 (year-on-year growth of 5.2%)
£1,653 million - FY ended Dec 2018 (year-on-year growth of 5.2%)
£1,594 million - FY ended Dec 2017

Competitive Analysis of Merlin Entertainments

The SWOT analysis of Merlin Entertainments is presented below:
1. Portfolio of world class brands and iconic assets
2. Strong Brand Reputation
3. Broad consumer target segment
4. Strategic Synergies
5. Strong Guest Satisfaction KPI’s
1. Seasonality of revenue impacting business
1. Continued market growth through increasing disposable incomes
2. Consolidating market for visitor attractions through acquisition
3. Developing our theme parks into destination resorts and opening new Midway attractions
4. Rapidly growing e-commerce markets
5. Focus on sustainable operations
1. Changing consumer tastes
2. Increase in competition
3. Stiff competition from Walt Disney
4. Terror Attacks and climate uncertainties
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of Merlin Entertainments



1. Portfolio of world class brands and iconic assets: Merlin Entertainments has a large number of elite brands in its portfolio. These include well-known names like Legoland, Peppa Pig, Little Big City, Madame Tassauds, and adventure parks like Thorpe Park and Heide Park. These brands are moreover diversified based on geography, customer demographics and attraction type. The revenues gained by the company are well balanced in different geographies around the world with the UK generating 31%, followed by North America, Europe and the APAC region at 27%, 25% and 17% respectively. Keeping climate disparities throughout the year in mind, the company has also maintained a fair amount of indoor and outdoor attractions with outdoor attractions generating 62% of its total revenue and indoor attractions earning 38%. The excellence of its portfolio brands is also evident through its 2018 records which show that tourists form the majority of customers for the company with 72% of its total revenues being generated through tourist visits to its attractions.
Merlin is uniquely placed, given its global reach and multi-format expertise, to exploit the growing opportunities to partner with leading owners of Intellectual Property content. These partnerships provide Merlin with additional ways in which to deliver memorable experiences, whilst offering those partners opportunities to increase engagement with their customers.

2. Strong Brand Reputation: Merlin Entertainments is the world’s second most visited attraction group after Walt Disney. But Merlin has purely engaged in the business of entertainment unlike Walt Disney. So, in terms of pure play, Merlin Entertainments has grabbed the top spot. Although there were a series of problems like the 2015 accident at Alton Towers and terrorist attacks in Europe in 2016, the company has been strong enough to leverage the brand reputation and deliver a substantial high operating profit margin. It has proved itself to be a market-leading brand with significant potential for growth. Merlin Entertainments has invested their maximum dedication towards LEGOLAND Parks Attraction and rightly so, because they deliver the maximum revenue. They are located in Europe, UK and US and strategically moved to locations like Japan, Malaysia and UAE as they aimed to tap into the growth in the middle-class segment of these countries. China has been their focus in terms of expansion and they have grown rapidly with launch of attractions like Peppa Pig World of Play. They have tactically opted for multi-brand expansion which has worked for them so far.

3. Broad consumer target segment: Merlin Entertainments has purely focused on family entertainment based on strong brands and a global portfolio. The brand is a global leader in location-based entertainment and ranked as number 1 in Europe and number 2 in the world. They have positioned themselves in a way to appeal across various target demographics. The Midway Attractions is positioned across all key target demographics. They have created clusters in order to spread across geographic markets. Example – The Dungeons is clustered as “Scary Fun”, Shreks Adventure is clustered as “Hilarious Misadventure”, SeaLife is clustered as “Amazing Discoveries” and so on. LEGOLAND Parks are targeted towards a demographic of families with children within the age of 2 to 12. Their tagline is “Playful Learning”. The Resort Theme Parks cater to various target demographics. The creation of new products has helped them to tap new markets across the geography and they have invested in a large number of outlets in many countries.

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This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


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Major Competitors :

Major Brands :

  • LEGOLAND parks
  • Madame Tussauds
  • Thorpe Park
  • Sea Life Centres
  • The Dungeons
  • Alton Towers
  • The Eye Brand
  • Shrek’s Adventure!
  • Heide Park
  • Gardaland
  • Little BIG City
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Centres
  • Warwick Castle
  • Chessington World of Adventures
  • Peppa Pig World of Play
  • The Bear Grylls Adventure
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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies

References used in Merlin Entertainments Analysis Report

1. Introduction to Merlin Entertainments Plc March 2019:

2. Merlin Investment Case:

3. Alton Towers crash victims to sue:

4. What has gone wrong at Merlin Entertainments?:

The detailed complete set of references are available on request in the 'Complete report' on purchase.

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Merlin Entertainments SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted and reviewed by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

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