Merlin Entertainments has announced a 2% fall in revenue for its theme park division, saying trading continues to be "significantly impacted" by the Smiler roller-coaster crash that occurred at Alton Towers in June.
The attraction operator said the decision to close Alton Towers and suspend marketing activity across its UK theme parks in the wake of the crash has also impeded trading in the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group.
Merlin reported its pre-tax profit was up by £9m (€13m, $14m) on 2014. In the 26 weeks ending in June 2015, the entertainment group made £49m in profit before tax. Over the same period in 2014, Merlin reported profits of £40m.
Despite the accident at Alton Towers and the bad press for the group that followed, Merlin said it saw a slight increase in visitors across all its parks over the six-month period compared with the previous year. It recorded 27.7 million visitors compared to 27.5 million in 2014.
Revenue for the whole of Merlin rose despite losses for the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group. Merlin reported £544m in revenue between January and June in 2015, up on £513m in 2014.
On 27 June, Merlin Entertainment issued a profit warning following the roller-coaster crash on 2 June at Alton Towers, saying the incident had a big impact on sales.
The firm said the temporary closure of the park after the crash and the reputational damage suffered by Alton Towers meant its half-year theme park profit is now expected to be between £40m to £50m, 43% to 54% down from 2014's figure of £87m.
The company, which also owns the London Eye and operates numerous tourist attractions in the UK, such as London Sea Life and Madame Tussauds, has seen its share price fall by more than 10.4% since 2 June, when two Smiler carriages crashed into each other at Alton Towers.