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Village Roadshow commits to theme ride regeneration despite impact of Coronavirus losses
Village Roadshow latest full year results show that the cinema and theme park operator has been hit hard by COVID-19 with it reporting a net loss of $117.4 million for the 2019/20 financial year, compared with a loss of $6.6 million in the previous year.
The business, which has entered into an implementation agreement with local private equity firm BGH Capital, was forced to close its theme parks and cinemas from March - with operations, apart from in Melbourne, having begun reopening last month.
Released yesterday, Village Roadshow’s FY2020 figures included a $73.9 million contribution to the loss from significant items, resulting from $92.1 million in impairments of Topgolf, Australian Outback Spectacular, Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas, cinemas, film distribution royalties, marketing solutions and the film distribution business.
In addition, the group’s revenue fell more than 25% to $732.4 million with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation falling more than 75% to $31.1 million.
In a statement released yesterday, Village Roadshow advised "COVID-19 had a significant adverse impact on FY2020 results as the company's theme parks and cinemas were closed from March 2020 onwards.
"All parks and the majority of cinemas (except theatres in Victoria) have since re-opened in July 2020. Cinemas and theme parks are currently operating at reduced capacity to comply with social distancing regulations in the relevant state."
Despite Village Roadshow's theme park division hosting 900,000 fewer guests than expected in 2019/20 the company is moving forward with the development of Sea World’s Leviathan wooden rollercoaster - which it hopes to have open by next Easter - while also announcing that they will be removing two yet-unnamed rides at their Gold Coast theme parks.
Like Dreamworld, Village Roadshow have indicated that it is pressing ahead with planned attractions at their theme parks, with both companies having separately secured finance to steer them through the next year or more of uncertainty.
Commenting on the rides to be removed, the Parkz theme park enthusiasts website has stated “while no specifics were released regarding which two attractions were facing the wrecking ball, several likely candidates exist across their Gold Coast theme parks. Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy has faced increasing uncertainty in recent years and has sat dormant for some time. It is currently listed as closed for unspecified maintenance on the Movie World website with no scheduled reopening.
“The Mach 5 water slide tower at Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast has been removed from the Wet'n'Wild website and the collection of slides currently sits unused.
“While (the) Sea World Monorail System has faced its own set of rumours regarding removal, Sea World remain emphatic that its current closure and removal from the theme park's website merely relates to construction of The New Atlantis and it will return upon completion of the area.”
Village Roadshow’s retiring of attractions is reportedly with the intention of replacing outgoing rides with new attractions and experiences
Village shareholders will vote on the BGH takeover proposal in November. The independent board committee, headed by former Foxtel Chief Executive Peter Tonagh, has unanimously recommended the deal, in the absence of a better offer and subject to the independent expert's report.
Images: Surfrider at Wet'n'Wild Gold Coast (top) and the Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy ride at Warner Bros. Movie World (below).
17th August 2020 - Village Roadshow moves toward acquisition by private equity firm
12th May 2020 - Village Roadshow Chief Executive calls for JobKeeper extension as Queensland Government’s Coronavirus easing roadmap suggests reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in June
6th April 2020 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks backs staff during lockdown
24th January 2020 - Private equity group BGH Capital submits rival bid for Village Roadshow
20th December 2019 - Private equity firm makes $750 million offer for Village Roadshow
15th October 2019 - Village Roadshow reveals profit turnaround in last financial year
11th September 2019 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks reveal schedule for opening of new Sea World attractions
13th December 2018 - Warner Bros. Movie World launches Aquaman exhibition
23rd December 2019 - Sea World hit with new protests over dolphin care
28th August 2019 - Sea World team releases pair of rehabilitated green turtles
6th February 2017 - Wet’n'Wild Gold Coast launches all terrain driving adventure
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