The Dreamworld theme park on Queensland’s Gold Coast continues to struggle following the 2016 tragedy that claimed four lives, with park owner Ardent Leisure saying the recovery in patron numbers is taking longer than expected.
Ardent Leisure says it will suffer an $84 million to $94 million loss for 2017/18, with cuts to the value of Dreamworld plus impairments on its US entertainment centres business weighing on results.
That compares with a loss of $63 million a year earlier.
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, based on preliminary, unaudited results for the year ended June 26 released on Monday.
The bleak trading update pushed the stock down 7.5 cents, or 3.7 per cent, to $1.93 in a lower Australian share market, at 1353 AEST.
The company’s theme parks division is forecast to book a loss of between $91 million to $95 million for the year ended June 26, compared with a loss of $98 million a year earlier, hurt by lower revenue and poor weather.
Its Main Event division – which has 41 bowling and games centres across the US – is forecast to book a drop in annual underlying earnings to $12 million to $15 million, down from $46 million a year earlier, due to the $38 million impairment charge as well as pre-opening and restructuring costs totalling $12 million.
Ardent’s trading update comes a month after Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson, who was in the position at the time of the disaster, resigned.
Ardent chief experience officer Nicole Noye took over as acting CEO of theme parks until Mr Davidson’s replacement has been found.
Ms Noye will be supported by two new executive appointments of Phil Tanner as director of Safety, and former Queensland Police Inspector Mike McKay as director for culture, community and external relations.
Ardent expects to report its full-year results on August 22.