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Village Roadshow advances plans for Asian theme and water parks

Village Roadshow advances plans for Asian theme and water parks
April 4, 2014

Buoyed by the huge success of its Wet'n'Wild Sydney waterpark, Melbourne-based entertainment group Village Roadshow is advancing its previously announced plans to expand in Asia.

The cinema, entertainment and theme park group has recently announced its interest in nine new attractions sites in China and Malaysia and is looking trebling the number of Gold Class cinema complexes in the US.

After last year agreeing to build and operate its first Chinese attraction on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, Village Executive Chairman Robert Kirby said the company was assessing six new prospective sites in China and three in Malaysia.

Kirby told The Australian "we are moving into the phase now with the development and government people who are putting these projects together, they are starting to engage in detailed research and assessment of the sites.

"We are looking at sites in Beijing, Shanghai, down south in Guangdong - which includes the Shenzhen area - and into other areas of China where there is population and tourism."

According to a report in The Australian, Village recently two delegations of Chinese investors to tour its local theme park properties.

Village last year signed a deal with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Guangzhou R&F Properties to build $550 million versions of its Gold Coast theme parks Sea World and Wet'n'Wild WaterWorld.

Village is also the lead consultant in the design team developing the park and will be the exclusive operator of both Hainan R&F Ocean Paradise and Hainan Wet'n'Wild for at least the next 20 years, but will hold no economic interest in the site.

Kirby said the Hainan Island development was progressing well and was on track to open in the first half of next year.

The international expansion of the theme park business is expected to see it make up as much as 60% of Village's earnings in the coming years, up from the current level of just below 50%.

In February, Village announced that its newly opened Wet'n'Wild Sydney waterpark had boosted its profits by almost $6 million in its first few weeks of operation.

Village Roadshow's half year accounts show that more than 160,000 season passes were sold for the new Sydney waterpark prior to its opening on 12th December, generating $12.5 million in revenue.

In the USA, Village is rolling out its IPic Gold Class cinema concept in several states after it outperformed trading expectations in the first half year of its operations.





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