HURRICANE HARVEY HITS ARDENT HARD IN TEXAS

Written on the 31 August 2017 by David Simmons

HURRICANE HARVEY HITS ARDENT HARD IN TEXAS

ARDENT Leisure (ASX: AAD) has felt the impact of Hurricane Harvey in the United States and closed five of its Main Event centres in the Houston area.

The five centres, which house bowling and games centres, have been damaged by the storm which is reportedly worse than Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ardent says the level of damage is still being assessed but the assessment is being hampered by access and utility issues. Three of the five centres are set to re-open within seven days.

One of the centres will most likely be re-opened in two months, while the fifth centre which sustained the most extensive damage cannot be given a likely re-opening timeframe.

"This represents the current preliminary assessment of the Main Event team who are managing the situation on the ground, but remains subject to change based on further evaluation work and changes in prevailing weather and environmental conditions," Ardent says in a statement.

The company is working on an employee assistance program for those affected by the situation.

Hurricane Harvey has so far affected more than 48,700 homes in Texas, and the death toll currently sits at 23.

Ardent Leisure operates 38 Main Event centres in the United States, 16 of which are in Texas.

This bad news is just another in a long line of unexpected setbacks for Ardent which began late 2016 with the deaths of four people at the company's Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast.

Recently, Ardent reported a net loss of $62.6 million for FY17, down from a profit of $42.4 million last year.

Revenue from operations for the year fell 4.4 per cent to $498 million and earnings fell to $11.3 million.

Shares in Ardent Leisure were steady at $1.93 at around midday (AEST).

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Author: David Simmons

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