Write-downs after the Dreamworld tragedy hurt Ardent Leisure results

Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Ardent Leisure posted a loss in the first half of FY17, hurt by the Dreamworld tragedy, the closure of Kingpin Crown for refurbishment and the loss of earnings from Health Clubs.

Shares fell to a their lowest level in more than a year on the news. A short while ago Ardent shares were down 12% at $1.9. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 0.7% lower.

The company, which runs bowling centres and theme parks, recorded a statutory loss of $49.4 million, primarily impacted by a $95.2 million property, plant and equipment write-down, goodwill impairment and incident costs associated with the Dreamworld tragedy.

Ardent is emerging from the closure of Dreamworld for 45 days last year after four people died in October on the Thunder River rapids ride at Dreamworld when two rafts collided. The theme park reopened on December 10.

As Dreamworld recovers it is expected that the future valuation of the asset and profit contribution will improve, the company said.

Revenue fell to $317.2 million from $333.8 million and it announced an interim dividend of 2 cents a share, from 7 cents a year ago.

This table provides Ardent’s first half summary

Attendance at the company’s theme parks fell 27.1%.

“The theme park businesses are also expected to benefit from increased domestic and international tourism to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the development of land adjoining the property in Coomera,” the company said.

Dreamworld’s impact is being felt by rivals too.

Village Roadshow, which owns Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World and Wet ā€˜nā€™ Wild on the Gold Coast, said the local Queensland market, which previously represented 60% of attendance, has fallen by more than 12% on the prior year since the Dreamworld incident.

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