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Ardent Leisure Chairman says group is well positioned for future growth
Having cut its losses to $86.9 million in the year to 30th June, compared to $136.1 million in 2019/20, Ardent Leisure Chairman, Dr Gary Weiss has advised that the outlook for the owner of Dreamworld and WhiteWater World remains positive, underpinned by the rollout of vaccines, the expected opening of the Steel Taipan at Dreamworld and pent up demand in the domestic market.
Released last week, Ardent Leisure’s financial results for the 2020/21 financial year showed “significant improvement”, according to the group, against a drop in revenue from $398 million in 2019/20 to $390 million, which it advised was “impacted by reduced in Australian theme parks venues”.
The results also showed that revenue at Ardent’s Main Event social entertainment business in the USA increased 14% as centres, which feature ten pin bowling and laser tag attractions, reopened.
Commenting on the group’s performance, Dr Weiss (pictured below) said the theme park business continued to receive strong support from the local market despite visitor numbers being impacted by international and interstate border restrictions, particularly during peak trading period.
With Ardent revealing it is banking on the vaccine roll out and new attractions including Dreamworld’s $32 million Steel Taipan rollercoaster to boost its post Covid-19 recovery, Dr Weiss said he expected uncertainty from the pandemic and associated governmental restrictions to continue for the remainder of the calendar year, commenting “we are confident that Ardent is well positioned for future growth once market conditions begin to improve.”
He said the second half of the year had seen the Main Event business rebound helped by pent-up demand, government stimulus and the accelerated vaccine rollout.
The theme park business, consisting of Dreamworld, WhiteWater World and SkyPoint, suffered a 34% slide in revenue of $36 million for the year, mainly due to the pandemic.
With Ardent’s theme park business having suffered 78 days lost revenue during the year due to lockdowns, Dr Weiss noted “the lockdowns brought a premature end to the traditional peak Christmas and Easter holiday trading periods for the business.”
A $69.9 million financial assistance package, comprising a $63.7 million three-year term loan and grants of $6.2 million, obtained from the Queensland Treasury Corporation in August has provided sufficient liquidity for the business to fund working capital and capital projects, such as the new Steel Taipan rollercoaster.
Following the result, Ardent Theme Parks Chief Executive Greg Yong, said his team had performed tremendously in what has been one of the most challenging business environments in our history.
Yong told the Gold Coast Bulletin “upon reopening we set a very high standard for COVID-19 safety, and this continues to be a priority as new variants of the virus emerge.”
Click here to view Ardent Leisure’s financial results for the 2020/21 financial year.
1st September 2021 - Ardent Leisure set for seasonal reopening of Gold Coast’s WhiteWater World
21st April 2021 - Ardent Leisure promotes Greg Yong as Theme Park Division Chief Executive
29th June 2021 - Gold Coast Marathon 2021 cancelled
21st June 2021 - Global developments in surf park projects
30th September 2020 - Ardent Leisure’s Dreamworld fine the biggest in Queensland workplace history
29th September 2020 - Ardent Leisure fined $3.6 million over 2016 Dreamworld deaths
14th August 2020 - Ardent Leisure to reopen Dreamworld on 16th September
25th February 2020 - Ardent Leisure shares fall after critical Coroner’s report into Dreamworld tragedy
29th September 2017 - Gary Weiss takes on Chairman’s role at Ardent Leisure
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