Theme park closures sees Dreamworld operator post $137m loss

Theme park closures sees Dreamworld operator post $137m loss

The enforced closures of Ardent Leisure's (ASX: ALG) theme parks in Australia and entertainment centres in the US due to COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the company's loss ballooning to $136.6 million in FY20.

Total reported revenue for the Dreamworld operator decreased by $85 million to $398.3 million in the full year, also due to COVID-19 restrictions on trade.

However, from March onward, the company only brought in $68.2 million of earnings, compared to $362.3 million generated pre-pandemic.

The company's chairman Dr Gary Weiss did not play down the disappointing FY20 results.

"Following the restrictions put in place by government and health authorities, we made the difficult decision to close our Main Event centres in the United States and Theme Park businesses in Australia from mid-late March.

The group's theme parks division, which includes Dreamworld, Whitewater World and Sky Point, reported trading revenue of $54.5 million for the year, down 18.8 per cent.

In addition, the group's US cinema arm, Main Event, saw revenue decrease by 17.4 per cent.

Despite the uncertainty, Weiss is optimistic about Ardent Leisure's FY21, particularly because of the government support the theme parks division has received from the Queensland Government ahead of Dreamworld's reopening in September.

"Our guests and team members can be confident we have implemented the highest levels of cleaning and safety standards across out business."

Shares in Ardent Leisure group are down 3.30 per cent to $0.44 per share at 3:54pm AEST.

Updated at 4:21pm AEST on 27 August 2020.

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