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Six Flags Entertainment’s Profit Falls Following Rider’s Death

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The Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

The Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. (credit: CBSDFW.COM)

GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Six Flags Entertainment Corp.’s net income tumbled 52 percent in the third quarter amid the death of a roller coaster rider in July.

Management on Wednesday said attendance, revenue and profit were somewhat suppressed following the July 19 fatality at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. The Grand Prairie company’s results include $3 million set aside for litigation costs related to a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Rosa Esparza.

A coroner says Esparza was ejected from her seat on the ‘Texas Giant’ and plummeted about 75 feet before striking a metal beam. The ride remained closed for nearly two months during the investigation.

Six Flags, with 18 parks in North America, says attendance in the July-September period rose 2 percent to 11.8 million guests.

Revenue grew 4 percent to $504.5 million. Net income was $120.4 million, compared with $253 million a year earlier. The latest quarter included an increase in income tax expense.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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