SEPTEMBER EDITORS MESSAGE

Written on the 2 December 2010

SEP 2010

THE Gold Coast and its world famous theme parks provide thrilling profits for their large scale publicly listed owners, in particular Village Roadshow – the company that will invest a further $20 million in its prized assets before Christmas.

The overall economic impact by Village Roadshow Theme Parks on the Gold Coast is greater than $1 billion.

With properties including Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild and Australian Outback Spectacular, its Sea World Resort and Water Park has made a big splash as the most improved performer for the group.

Village Roadshow Theme Parks CEO Tim Fisher says the Gold Coast is integral to the financial room of its theme park division. With four new attractions planned this year, the group is not holding back. That means more jobs and an influx of tourists to the city.

For Dreamworld’s owner Ardent Leisure, results were less spectacular with earnings falling 23 per cent on last year to $35.4 million. However Queensland attendance was up 17 per cent despite a fall in theme park revenue of 4.8 per cent overall.

The Ardent board has approved capital expenditure to strengthen consumer appeal including an external walkway at the top of Q1 pending approvals, improvements to QDeck, refurbishment of health clubs in WA and a new ride for Dreamworld to open in time for September school holidays.

In other reporting news, Sunland will launch its third buy back scheme following an above guidance profit result of $18.3 million. The group released seven new residential housing and urban developments in FY10 comprising 264 products with an end value of $201.8 million. It also anticipates a further six new projects in the year ahead with a total of 942 products with an estimated end value of $505.7 million.

And Billabong is forecasting up to 8 per cent growth in FY11 banked on stable conditions in the Americas, continued strength in Europe and a dashing foray into China. Despite profit down 4.5 per cent on last year, it’s worth noting that the surf retailer’s net profit of $146 million is still higher than the combined profits of its competitors.

Sunny skies are also shining brightly upon the Yalata-based eco-Kinetics. The company has won a contract to develop a $300 million renewable energy farm in Thailand – making it one of the largest photovoltaic plants in the world. Eco-Kinetics now installs a solar energy system every 30 minutes.

Tourism, property and manufacturing – the three sectors hit hardest during the downturn – are now demonstrating not just resilience, but growth.

Now we just need the banks to take note so that the smaller operators can share a slice.


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