Dreamworld tragedy continues to hurt Ardent Leisure

Dreamworld tragedy continues to hurt Ardent Leisure

Tourists and locals alike are still avoiding Ardent Leisure's Dreamworld theme park nearly two years after the 2016 tragedy that killed four park visitors.

Visitors have been slow to return to the Gold Coast theme park, resulting in Ardent reporting an $84 to $94 million loss for FY18.

The loss is even worse than FY17, when Ardent reported a $63 million full year loss.

As a result of these figures, Ardent has cut $75 million from the value of Dreamworld and flagged a non-cash impairment charge of $38 million related to five leisure centres in the US.

Shares in the embattled entertainment company have dived following the release of its preliminary, unaudited results. At 1.55pm AEST shares in Ardent were down 3.7 per cent to $1.93 per share.

In total, Ardent's theme park operations are estimated to report a loss of $91 million to $95 million for the FY18 period, compared to $98 million in FY17.

A $38 million impairment charge will hit Ardent in its bowling alley business in the US. The total underlying earnings of the bowling and games centres division will dip to $12 to $15 million, down from $46 million a year earlier.

This unfortunate trading update comes just a month after Craig Davidson, chief executive of Dreamworld, resigned. Davidson was in charge of Dreamworld during the 2016 tragedy.

Ardent expects its full year report to be released on August 22.

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