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Cedar Fair 1Q loss widens on charges

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- Theme park operator Cedar Fair LP said Wednesday its first-quarter loss widened, largely as a result of debt-related charges.

For the quarter ended March 31, Cedar Fair posted a loss of $109.1 million, or $1.95 per unit, compared with a loss of $65.4 million, or $1.18 per unit.

The company, which typically posts a loss during the first quarter because of seasonal factors, attributed the larger loss mainly to $62 million in debt-retirement and other one-time charges.

Revenue jumped 48 percent to $41.8 million from $28.2 million, largely as a result of higher attendance and spending at Knott's Berry Farm, the company's only year-round park.

Analysts, on average, expected a loss of $1.11 per share on $30.2 million in revenue, according to FactSet.

Cedar Fair said the recent quarter's results also got a boost from an additional 21 operating days due to a later end to the fiscal first quarter compared with the previous year and a shift in the Easter and spring break holidays to the first quarter.

For the full year, Cedar Fair said it expects its revenue to total between $1.09 billion to $1.12 billion, while analysts expect $1.11 billion.

Cedar Fair also declared a quarterly distribution of 62.5 cents. The distribution will be paid on June 17 to unit holders of record as of June 5.

Cedar Fair shares rose 28 cents to $42.54 in midday trading. For the year to date, shares are up 27 percent.