The crash of the Smiler rollercoaster in UK theme park Alton Towers has continued to drag down sales at mother company Merlin Entertainments.
Exposing how much the company is still feeling the burn of the crash, like-for-like sales in its theme park division were down more than 11% due the period of closure of Alton Towers and the hurt image of the overall company.
Merlin, which also owns attractions such as the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds, has suffered a share price drop of almost 18% since the crash on 2 June, and the stock price fell a further 1.1% shortly after the company said that it is still suffering from shockwaves after the crash.
Merlin Entertainments's management said that Alton Towers and UK resort theme parks have "seen significantly reduced visitation following the accident at Alton Towers on 2 June."
"As anticipated, this has continued over the summer peak season, exacerbated by relatively poor weather in the UK in August, resulting in like-for-like revenues in the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group declining by 11.4% year on year."
The accident in June caused 14 people to be trapped in the theme park ride and left several people injured, including two women who were forced to have their legs amputated following the incident.
On 27 July, Merlin Entertainments issued a profit warning because of the crash, saying the incident had severely hit sales. The firm said the temporary closure of the park after the crash and the damage to reputation suffered by Alton Towers mean its half-year theme park profit is now expected to be between £40m-£50m (€54.7m-€68.4m, $62m-$77.5m), 43%-54% down from last year's figure of £87m (€121.9m, $135.1bn).
The suspension of market activity across all UK theme parks, which includes the hugely popular Thorpe Park near London, also had a strong impact on sales.
However, the attractions under Merlin's Midway brand fared better with like-for-like sales up 2.6%, Legoland being a particularly strong performer with revenue jumping 6.7%. Overall, the Smiler crash weighed down the company's sales to an increase of 0.3%.