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Village Roadshow owner records $36 million loss in last financial year

Village Roadshow owner records $36 million loss in last financial year
January 12, 2022

Village Roadshow’s owner has advised that the ongoing viability of the entertainment and theme park group is contingent on the Omicron wave not resulting in new restrictions on its operations.

Recording a net loss of $35.8 million in the 2020/21 financial year, according to accounts lodged with the Australian Securities Investments Commission on 20th December, VRG Holdco, the entity that owns the cinemas and theme park business, acknowledged that it had struggled with COVID-19 restrictions and global movie release delays.

VRG Holdco group’s financial report to the corporate regulator for the 12 months to 30th June 2021, advised that lockdown restrictions resulted in the “intermittent closures of the group’s cinema operations, and disruptions to global release dates of major film titles.”

The company’s net loss from material items after tax of $22.1 million was mainly due to restructuring costs of the Village Roadshow business, including redundancy costs.

The year saw VRG Holdco report earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $36.9 million, excluding material items and discontinued operations. Before its acquisition by BGH in August 2020, the company reported a net loss of $117.4 million for the 2019/20 financial year - its last as a public company.

That loss included $92.1 million in impairments to Village’s Topgolf assets, Australian Outback Spectacular, Wet‘n’Wild Las Vegas, cinemas, film distribution royalties, marketing and film distribution businesses.

The business’ theme parks division - consisting of Warner Bros. Movie World, Wet‘n’Wild, the Australian Outback Spectacular, Sea World and Topgolf - reported an EBITDA of $23.5 million, posting a net loss of $4.1 million.

The cinema division posted earnings of $10.8 million and a net loss of $1.49 million, while the business’ film distribution division reported earnings of $10.3 million, with a net profit of $4.9 million.

Both divisions were affected by COVID-19 restrictions and border closures, with the cinema business improving in the second half of fiscal 2021 as global release dates of major films started to stabilise.

The group implemented cost-reduction strategies during the pandemic including standing down front-line employees, a group-wide restructuring, deferring all non-essential capital expenditure and working with landlords for rent relief.

Images: Australia’s tallest waterpark slide opened at Wet’n’Wild on the Gold Coast in the lead up to Christmas (top) and the concept for Sea World's soon-to-open New Atlantis precinct (below).

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1st January 2022 - Theme parks driving surge in Gold Coast tourism visits

18th December 2021 - Protesters return to campaign against Sea World’s dolphins

11th December 2021 - Village Roadshow’s Gold Coast theme parks to include PCR testing hubs

10th December 2021 - Australia’s tallest waterpark slide opens at Wet’n’Wild on the Gold Coast

15th November 2021 - Disney advises revival of theme park earnings

30th October 2021 - Sea World marks 50th anniversary

24th October 2021 - Queensland Government launches pop-up vaccination clinics at sports clubs, theme parks and in entertainment precincts

24th September 2021 - Global attraction attendance report shows industry resilience in 2020 and the beginnings of recovery

4th June 2021 - Warner Bros. Movie World commences festivities to mark 30th Anniversary

2nd June 2021 - Theme park tickets and airline rewards offered as incentives for vaccination uptake

14th May 2021 - Village Roadshow announces new investment in Gold Coast theme parks

4th May 2021 - Village Roadshow moves forward with plans for a 398-room hotel at Movie World

19th February 2021 - Queensland theme parks cut opening hours as guest numbers decline

26th January 2021 - Village Roadshow Theme Parks’ Michael Croaker launches Park Life podcast

9th December 2020 - BGH Capital confirmed as Village Roadshow’s new owners

8th December 2020 - Village Roadshow reveals new imagery for Sea World’s New Atlantis Precinct

27th November 2020 - Village Roadshow leads Queensland tourism operators in advertising summer positions

14th November 2020 - Gold Coast theme parks move forward with new rides

29th October 2020 - Gold Coast theme parks set to freeze summer recruitment

16th October 2020 - Theme park marketeers reach out to guests and new audiences

13th October 2020 - Takeover offer for Village Roadshow ‘fair and reasonable’

29th August 2020 - Village Roadshow commits to theme ride regeneration despite impact of Coronavirus losses

17th July 2020 - Village Roadshow reopens Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast

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