Everland posts record Q1 sales on soaring visitors, prior to Fu Bao’s return to China

Visitors see Fu Bao off at Everland in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, April 3, prior to the giant panda's transfer to China. Yonhap

As giant panda Fu Bao attracted many farewell visitors at Everland before being sent to China, Samsung C&T’s resort division saw a record-high first-quarter sales, significantly reducing the division’s operating losses during the off-peak season.According to industry officials, Sunday, Samsung C&T, the operator of Everland, reported a preliminary revenue of 126 billion won ($91.3 million) for the first quarter of 2024, marking the highest first-quarter revenue ever recorded.It is known that the theme park contributes approximately 60 percent to the total sales revenue of Samsung’s resort division.Typically, the division focuses on its operations for the remainder of the year, as the first quarter sees fewer visitors to the theme park due to the cold weather.

However, for this year’s first quarter, Everland saw a significant increase in visitors, bidding farewell to Fu Bao, accompanied by a corresponding rise in related merchandise sales. This greatly reduced losses compared to previous years, with losses now accounting for only 8.7 percent, compared to an average 20 percent in the January-March period of previous years.”The number of visitors to Everland during the first quarter increased by 20 percent year-on-year. It is unusual to see such a significant increase,” an official from Samsung C&T said. “The surge in visitors coming to see Fu Bao clearly had an impact.”Fu Bao was born in Korea in 2020 to Ai Bao and Le Bao, the giant pandas sent by Xi Jinping in 2016 as a symbol of friendship. She was especially adored by Koreans for her cute appearance and for providing joy during the COVID-19 pandemic.Samsung C&T explained that the number of visitors continued to increase even after Fu Bao was removed from public display in March, as the public interest shifted to Fu Bao’s sisters, Ruibao and Huibao.Meanwhile, revenue for Samsung C&T’s resort division in the first quarter has shown a steady recovery from the significant impact of COVID-19. After falling to 74 billion won in 2020 due to restrictions on outdoor activities, it increased to 77 billion in 2021, 87 billion won in 2022 and 124 billion won in 온라인카지노 2023.

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