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‘Strong First Quarter’ for Village Roadshow businesses

‘Strong First Quarter’ for Village Roadshow businesses
December 8, 2009

Theme park and cinema operator Village Roadshow Ltd says most of its businesses have performed better than expected in the new financial year.

Village Chairman John Kirby says its Gold Coast theme parks and film distribution division were performing ahead of budget expectations during the first quarter of 2009/10.

Kirby told the company's annual general meeting last week that its Sydney attractions, such as the Sydney Aquarium, had also delivered a "strong first quarter result" off the back of increased domestic visitor numbers.

Kirby explained "I am happy to report that our operations continue to be supported by strong operating cash flows and robust assets.

"The company's businesses continue to perform well in difficult economic times and the year saw improved trading from our theme parks and cinema exhibition businesses.

"The group has rigorously reduced costs in all divisions and focussed on improving sales through creative marketing initiatives."

Kirby said he was "very pleased" with the strength of Village's theme parks, especially considering the current economic climate but he cautioned that the full year result for the film distribution division would depend on the success of the film product in the pipeline and the important Christmas/New Year trading period.

In terms of Village's cinema operations, Kirby said the Australian cinema business had been "particularly strong", with healthy first quarter box office continuing through October and November".

The Singapore cinema business was marginally ahead of last year thus far, while the US had been "disappointing" despite positive reviews from customers.

Kirby continued "we remain optimistic that the next couple of sites opening this month will demonstrate better results."

Following Village ditching plans to develop a waterpark at Aussi World on the Sunshine Coast and a wildlife attraction in Victoria, Kirby commented that the lack of availability of "appropriately structured and fairly priced bank finance in Australia remains a challenge for most corporate entities."

Image: Sea World on the Gold Coast.

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