Wonderla reports strong second quarter results as demand continues to increase

Wonderla Holidays Limited, India’s largest amusement park operator, has reported strong growth in revenue and footfalls for the second quarter ended September 30, 2023, indicating a recovery after COVID-19 disruptions.

The company’s gross revenue grew 17% year-on-year to Rs 81.41 crore in Q2 FY2024, compared to Rs 69.73 crore in Q2 FY2023. Footfalls increased 6% to 4.96 lakh in the quarter under review, versus 4.70 lakh in the same period last year.

For the first half of FY2024, Wonderla’s gross revenue rose 22% to Rs 271.67 crore, while footfalls were up 1% to 15.98 lakh. Profit after tax jumped 31% to Rs 98 crore in H1 FY2024.

The robust Q2 performance marks a turnaround for Wonderla after two consecutive years of declining footfalls due to COVID-19 restrictions and fears. In FY2021, the company’s parks remained closed for nearly 6 months due to lockdowns, resulting in a massive fall in footfalls.

Even after reopening, footfalls failed to recover in FY2022 due to the devastating second wave of infections in April-May 2021. As a result, Wonderla reported a net loss of Rs 9.5 crore in FY2022 compared to a profit of Rs 64 crore in the pre-pandemic FY2020.

The Omicron-led third wave of COVID-19 again impacted footfalls in Q4 FY2022 and Q1 FY2023. But with infections now under control and COVID fears subsiding, footfalls have rebounded since Q2 FY2023.

Wonderla’s growth in the latest quarter was driven by strong footfalls at its Bangalore park which got 2.07 lakh visitors, up 15% over last year. The Kochi park also saw 18% increase in footfalls to 1.84 lakh. Higher volumes, along with a 6% rise in average revenue per user (ARPU) to Rs 1,440, boosted revenues across parks.

According to Arun Chittilappilly, Managing Director, Wonderla Holidays, the company remains firmly focused on providing an unmatched visitor experience through continued investments. Work is progressing rapidly on the new amusement park coming up in Bhubaneswar with an investment of Rs 146 crore. Wonderla has also commenced groundwork on its proposed Chennai park after multiple delays.

Chittilappilly said, “In the second quarter of FY 2023, our growth trajectory continues to soar. We’re delighted to report a 17% increase in gross revenue, totaling Rs.81.41 crore. This remarkable achievement in a lean season is bolstered by the trust and enthusiasm of our visitors, with an accumulated footfall of 4.96 lakhs during the same period.”

He added, “Furthermore, it’s not just about the numbers; it’s about the future. Our commitment to excellence is showcased in the significant investments we’ve made in our Chennai and Bhubaneswar parks. As we look ahead, our dedication to innovation and customer satisfaction remains unwavering.”

Wonderla Holidays currently operates three amusement parks in Kochi, Bangalore and Hyderabad. It has plans to expand its geographical footprint with parks in Chennai and Bhubaneswar in the pipeline.

The company has one of the largest water park chains in India spanning over 82 acres. Its parks offer a wide range of dry and water rides, wave pools, interactive attractions, and entertainment shows.

However, Wonderla faces competition from new players like Adlabs Imagica in Mumbai and KidZania in NCR region. Established brands like EsselWorld and Nicco Park have also upgraded their offerings. But Wonderla scores with its high safety standards, unique ride portfolio and widespread brand recall.

Going forward, the company aims to drive growth by adding new attractions, implementing dynamic pricing, improving food & beverage offerings and operational efficiencies. Wonderla is also focused on controlling costs through better maintenance and energy management.

According to analysts, the outlook remains positive for amusement parks as Indians seek outdoor recreational options post-COVID. With travel still recovering, staycations and short trips to nearby destinations will drive domestic tourism growth. This presents a big opportunity for organized players like Wonderla to capitalize on the revenge travel theme.

The strong Q2 performance has provided optimism that Wonderla is back on the growth track after the pandemic-triggered disruptions. The company’s execution of expansion plans and innovative marketing campaigns will be key monitorables for the coming quarters.