VILLAGE ROADSHOW HIT BY DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY

VILLAGE ROADSHOW HIT BY DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY
TRADING at Village Roadshow (ASX:VRL) theme parks has been 'inconsistent', following the deaths of four people at Dreamworld, says chairman Robert Kirby.

The company, which owns and runs Gold Coast theme parks Warner Brothers Movie World, Wet'n'Wild, and Sea World, held its AGM today, where Kirby addressed the tragic Dreamworld incident.

While he was hesitant to draw trends from the trading figures to date, Kirby acknowledged the impact of the deaths.

"We do believe it will take time for the community and the marketplace to fully recover from the tragedy," says Kirby.

"We expect to have a better understanding of the impact by the half-year results announcement and will provide more information at that time."

Movie World has had its own issues with safety - in March 2015, 13 people were stuck on the Green Lantern for hours.

Kirby says the safety and wellbeing of guests is the company's top priority.

"VRL has always invested in its safety and maintenance processes," he says.

"Our rides undergo rigorous daily, weekly, monthly and annual inspections. In addition, we have third party safety auditing on our rides on an annual basis."

The Queensland Government has also launched its own state-wide review of theme park rides in the wake of the incident.

Dreamworld, which is owned by Ardent Leisure (ASX: AAD) is yet to announce when it will reopen, but the Thunder River Rapids ride will be demolished out of respect for the victims.

Overall, the Village Roadshow Group reported EBITDA of $168.8 million and net profit of $15.7 million ($50.9 million before material items).

VRL is trading down 4.88 per cent at $4.680 per share this afternoon.

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