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SeaWorld Earnings Mixed After Announcing Plans To Phase Out Killer Whales


SeaWorld unveiled a mixed financial picture Thursday. This is the first earnings report since announcing this generation of killer whales would be the company's last.

The company revealed minor gains in attendance and revenue, and a widening net loss.

SeaWorld's net loss nearly doubled over the first quarter last year to $84 million. The company blamed depreciation after removing lifting floors from its orca tanks.

President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said the company expects slow growth in revenue streams like season passes after announcing it would stop breeding killer whales.

"It's too early to try to draw a link directly to season passes immediately changing," said Manby. "But we're very confident that it's cleared the runway, and people are seeing us in a positive light and that will start to change."

SeaWorld announced the change in March. Its business had been battered since an orca killed an Orlando trainer in 2010, prompting some to suggest the animal's treatment led to her death.

Amy Green covered the environment for WMFE until 2023. Her work included the 2020 podcast DRAINED.