Shares in Village Roadshow fell sharply after the entertainment group posted a net loss of $6.7 million for the six months to December, partly due to a fatal accident at a competitor’s theme park on the Gold Coast.
A short time ago, they were down 12.2% to $3.31.
Revenue was up 4% to $542.5 million.
The company decided not to pay a dividend and is looking at ways to reduce debt, including asset sales.
“Despite a difficult start to the 2017 financial year, our greater vision and future prospects are exciting,” says CEO Robert Kirby.
“The goals are clear. It is about providing the best experiences, selling tickets and containing costs. Our key focus is to reduce leverage in the short term.”
Village Roadshow’s cinemas posted a before tax result of $21.6 million, down from $28.2 million.
The results for theme parks was significantly impacted by the fatal tragedy at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast in October. Four people died on the Thunder River rapids ride at Ardent Leisure’s theme park when two rafts collided.
Village Roadshow says its Gold Coast theme park attendance — including Warner Bros Movie World, Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast and Sea World — was down 8.4% between October and February.
Theme park EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) was $42.6 million, up marginally on the $42 million for the same six months last year.
In the film distribution business, the movies Deepwater Horizon and Red Dog: True Blue hit earnings. EBITDA was $10.8 million, down from $14.8 million.