Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 16:21 UK

Record 25m profit for London Eye

London Eye
The London Eye has carried more than 35 million people since 2000

About 3.85 million people enjoyed panoramic views from The London Eye last year, earning it a £25m profit, its owner Merlin Entertainment said.

The profit is the attraction's biggest ever since opening on the South Bank of The River Thames in 2000.

The surge in visitors was aided by a strong euro and stay-at-home holidays by British tourists, its owner said.

London Dungeon, Madame Tussauds and the Sea Life London Aquarium also performed well, the company said.

Taj Mahal

Operating profits for the 135-metre (440ft) high wheel, which carries up to 800 passengers at a time, were up 15% between 27 December 2008 and October this year.

David Sharpe, divisional director for Merlin Entertainments London, said: "Since opening in 2000, the London Eye has welcomed more than 35 million visitors - that is more visitors a year than the Taj Mahal and Pyramids of Giza and a true testament to its success.

"Figures to date for 2009 have been encouraging in the first three quarters of the year, helped by a strong euro and UK visitors staying at home, planning days out in London."

The London icon, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on New Year's Eve, is undergoing a £12.5m upgrade of its 32 pods to be ready for the Olympics in 2012.

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