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Six Flags swings to profit on higher visitor numbers

The firm has said it is looking to build its profile abroad, particularly in China and the Middle East.

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Shares were more than 2% higher in early deals at $52.51.

Theme Park operator Six Flags Entertainment (NYSE:SIX) swung to a profit in the last three months of 2015 as visitor numbers unexpectedly rose.

One division, the Grand Prairie, which has 18 Parks in the US, Mexico and Canada, said attendance rose 22% from a year earlier to 5.2mln guests.

In the latest quarter, revenue jumped around 18% to $217.5mln, with its Halloween and winter holiday events proving particularly popular.

Analysts had expected a loss of 3 cents a share on revenue of $193mln.

The firm has said it is looking to build its profile abroad, particularly in China and the Middle East.

For 2015, Six Flags reported a profit of $2.2mln, or 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of $34.1mln, or 37 cents, a year earlier.  

Six Flags exited bankruptcy-court protection in May 2010, having been hurt by a heavy debt load and declining attendance during the recession.

The company also said its board has been split up, with Jim Reid-Anderson staying as executive chairman while relinquishing the president role, while the chief executive title will go to John Duffey, who has also been appointed a director of the company.

Shares were more than 2% higher in early deals at $52.51.

Quick facts: Six Flags Entertainment

Price: 44.12 USD

NYSE:SIX
Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $3.73 billion
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