Ardent Leisure said that recovery in its theme park business, which includes Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, had been slower than expected, but expects investment in new rides, combined with an uptick in the 2019 financial year, to set the park on the path to recovery.
Ardent, which started life in 1999 as Leisurewide Property Trust and was spun out of parent Macquarie in 2003, now manages sites under two divisions, its Australian Theme Parks and US Main Event Entertainment division of big-box family leisure centres.
The group narrowed its loss for the 2019 year to $60.9 million, an improvement on the $90.7 million loss last year, after a “transitional” year.
The group was also hit by costs associated with Coronial Inquest hearings, non-recurring costs, as well as further impairment charges at the previously impaired US Main Event centres.
It booked a $79.6 million non-cash valuation loss and impairment charges in its theme parks business last year, which included a valuation loss on Dreamworld of $75 million.
An increase in revenue from continuing operations lifted the company to EBITDA earnings of $11.7 million from a loss of $54 million in 2018.
The company said there would be no dividend and expects to return to profitability in fiscal year 2020.