March 2, 2017 / 7:12 AM / 9 months ago

Merlin confident about the year ahead after hitting 2016 profit goal

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Britain’s Merlin Entertainments , operator of tourist attractions such as Madame Tussauds waxworks and Legoland, on Tuesday reported a 3.4 percent rise in 2016 pre-tax profit and said it remained confident it could deliver a good year ahead.

The world’s second-biggest visitor attractions group behind Walt Disney said it made a pretax profit of 277 million pounds ($340 million), compared with analysts’ average forecast of 273 million pounds and 250 million pounds made in 2015.

“As we move into 2017, with ongoing volatility in a number of our markets and continued cost pressures, we will increase our focus on cost efficiency and productivity,” Chief Executive Nick Varney said.

“We continue to be excited about the long term growth opportunities for Merlin. Whilst we are planning prudently, we remain confident of a good performance in the year ahead.”

$1 = 0.8150 pounds Reporting by Kate Holton

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