$6 MILLION BLOW TO ARDENT LEISURE SINCE DREAMWORLD REOPENING

Written on the 6 January 2017 by Lin Evlin

$6 MILLION BLOW TO ARDENT LEISURE SINCE DREAMWORLD REOPENING ARDENT Leisure's (ASX: AAD) revenue has taken a $6 million hit since the reopening of Dreamworld and Whitewater World on December 10, six weeks after four died while on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids Ride.

The company reported a 63 per cent revenue drop for the period 10 December to 31 December compared to the corresponding period a year prior and has reported theme park revenue of just $3.66 million.

Ardent's share price dropped by about four per cent at the start of trade following the release of the trading update.

The company says that whilst Whitewater World opened in its entirety, several Dreamworld rides have remained closed, which it believes has "negatively impacted attendance and revenues."

The remaining rides that are closed, including the Tower of Terror II and Giant Drop, will reopen by the end of the month.  The Thunder River Rapids has been permanently closed.

Ardent also reported that attendance numbers since Boxing Day have "steadily increased" and visitation has become more "consistent" as its "Big 9 Thrill Rides" return to service following an independent safety review.

"Overall guest sentiment has been very positive and we thank our guests, passholders and the broader community for their strong support," Ardent says in its statement to the market.

The company also provided an update on its Main Event Entertainment business arm in the United States, which it says is up by 35.2 per cent to $US102.1, in the six month period to 31 December.

The Main Event Entertainment business owns 31 bowling and games centres across the United States.

However, on a "constant" like for like basis, excluding new centre openings, the revenue numbers were actually slightly down by 2.9 per cent to $US68 million, from $US70 million the previous year.

"Constant centre revenues were affected by a difficult US casual dining macro-environment, particularly in Texas and challenges due to the Olympics, uncertainty around the US presidential elections and the associated low consumer confidence," Ardent says.

At 2.30 pm AEST, Ardent's share price was down $0.20 from the previous trading day at $2.22.

The embattled company's share price is about 17 per cent lower than it was before the tragic accident in October last year.

Author: Lin Evlin Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn

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