New global expansion discussed
For the first time since its unsuccessful European experiment, Six Flags is to consider expanding outside the USA. The park chain is said to be considering opening new theme parks in the Middle East, India and East Asia, and may consider selling two or three of its existing properties to raise capital.
Six Flags plans to cut expenses by as much as US$60 million this year after loosing money in three out of four quarters of 2007. The group will cut operating expenses by as much as $30 million by reducing what is spent on advertising, including firing one of its three advertising agencies and spending less money on radio commercials and more on internet advertising. An additional $30 million will be saved by reducing employment, primarily through early retirement, and removing some rides from parks.
Since taking control of Six Flags in 2005, Daniel Snyder and his executives have worked to increase park attendance and reduce debt. The company sold seven theme parks last year. The company had third-quarter net income of $89.7 million, down more than 40% from $164.7 million in net income a year earlier. Sales fell 1.9 percent to $365.2 million. Its 21 parks drew 24.9 million visitors last year, barely changed from 24.8 million in 2006.
Eight new roller coasters will be introduced at its parks this year.