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Village Roadshow reports slow attractions recovery amid move away from ticket discounting

Village Roadshow reports slow attractions recovery amid move away from ticket discounting
February 16, 2018

Village Roadshow have released their results for the six months from July to December 2017, showing a steady improvement in performance by their Gold Coast theme parks after more than a year of difficult trading.

While their EBITDA figure of $29.6 million for the first half of the financial year, from July to December 2017, was down 31% compared with the prior year, the period from 1st November 2017 to 28th January 2018, saw the theme parks report a 4% increase in attendance against the prior year.

Explaining how the fatalities at Dreamworld in October 2016 had impacted results, Graham Burke, co-Chief Executive and co-Chairman of Village Roadshow, advised “the enormity of the tragedy with four people being killed and the extraordinary coverage (that followed). It just spooked mums. Mums were nervous about putting their children on rides. It really hurt our Gold Coast businesses dramatically.”

The immediate financial impact of the incident in 2016 was offset by deferred revenue - namely monthly membership passes and annual passes purchased prior to the start of the year - with the true costs of the Dreamworld fatalities only becoming apparent in the current financial year.

Village Roadshow previously sold annual passes that mirrored the financial year - July to June - so the new annual pass season from July 2017 onwards was the first time the company felt the impact as customers decided whether they wanted to renew or not.

However, the increase in prices for all but single-day tickets looks to have been accepted by the market. Ticket yield (the average price paid per ticket) was up 30% while total admission revenue was up 24% in January.

Burke added “some would say we were in a fight to the bottom with our competitor.

“Well the sadness is that Dreamworld's brand is way less competitive for tragic reasons but probably more importantly, now that we've got the HyperCoaster  ... and further enhancements to Sea World I think our total offering is so superior to the competitive offering."

Burke emphasises that they are moving firmly away from discounting, adding “the pricing strategy is rigid and there are no other categories and discounts.

“We think our product offering is now so superior and the offering that people want that we don't have to be part of that discounting."

Looking forward to the opening of its new Topgolf attraction in the middle of the year, Burke suggests that the concept has the potential to deliver great profits with an expected pay-back for each installation of around four years.

With close to 40 Topgolf centres operating globally, Burke explains “the pay-back is demonstrably outstanding.

"Topgolf is what we do. It's the business of 'Going out'. Quality food, drinks, social atmosphere and a high-tech, incredible experience that people will love."

Elsewhere in its theme parks division, Burke described the performance of Wet'n'Wild Sydney as "incredibly disappointing" with attendance number dropping from 235,000 to 173,000 in the past year.

Internationally, Village Roadshow is planning for its Wet'n'Wild waterpark at Mission Hills in China to open in May as well as the expected early-2019 opening of Lionsgate Entertainment World in the southern Chinese city of Hengqin.

Both these projects will see Village Roadshow in a management position, with no investment or ownership stake in either park.

Images: Thrills at Warner Bros. Movie World (top), Movie World's new DC Rivals HyperCoaster (middle) and Topgolf (below).

13th January 2018 - WET’N’WILD SYDNEY PRESENTS SUMMER TIME MOTOCROSS THRILLS

1st December 2017 - MOVIE WORLD ENDS LOCKER HIRE FEES ON SUPERMAN ESCAPE RIDE

29th November 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW MOVES AWAY FROM LOW COST THEME PARK PASSES

9th October 2017 - AUSTRALIA’S FIRST TOPGOLF TO OPEN IN JUNE 2018 

22nd September 2017 - WARNER BROS. MOVIE WORLD OPENS SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE’S LARGEST ROLLERCOASTER

19th September 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW TO INSTALL ACCESSO PASSPORT TICKETING SUITE AT KEY ATTRACTIONS 

8th September 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW LOOKS TO SELL GOLD COAST THEME PARK LAND 

24th August 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW AIMS FOR NEW ATTRACTIONS TO LIFT THEME PARKS PERFORMANCE

7th April 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW CHANGES SEE CLARK KIRBY APPOINTED THEME PARKS DIVISION CHIEF EXECUTIVE

14th March 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW THEME PARKS HIGHLIGHTS SAFETY AND MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS 

22nd February 2017 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW THEME PARKS EXPERIENCE SUMMER TRADING DECLINE 

25th July 2016 - VILLAGE ROADSHOW TO OPERATE NEW LIONSGATE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE CENTRE IN CHINA

3rd June 2016 - WARNER BROS. MOVIE WORLD CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF MOVIE MAGIC

12th November 2015 - WET’N’WILD’S FIRST CHINESE WATERPARK TO OPEN BEFORE THE END OF 2016 

26th November 2012 - LUNA PARK SYDNEY WELCOMES ITS 10 MILLIONTH VISITOR


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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