Tourism

Village Roadshow expects “favourable trading” for theme parks from November following $117.4m loss

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

Village Roadshow anticipates a return to pre-COVID fortunes in a couple of months’ time for its theme parks division, following a brutal second half of the 2020 fiscal year.

The company posted a $117.4 million loss for the 12 months to 30 June 2020, compared to a $6.6 million loss in FY19.

Total revenue fell 25.3 per cent to $732.4 million, while Village Roadshow’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation declined by 33.6 per cent to $82.9 million.

The company noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had an “unprecedented impact” on operations in the second half of FY2020, most significantly in its major divisions, due to the closure of theme parks and cinemas in March 2020.

Village Roadshow noted that given the ongoing Queensland border closure with Victoria and NSW, the recovery of its theme parks – Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World, Wet’n’Wild, Paradise Country, and Australian Outback Spectacular – will take time.

“The FY2021 outlook has been prepared on management’s assumption that interstate visitors and international visitors from New Zealand will be able to visit Gold Coast from October/November 2020 onwards,” the company said in its FY20 report to shareholders.

“Guests from other international markets are not assumed to visit parks in FY2021.

“The company assumes favourable trading from November onwards, supported by the opening of key attractions at the New Atlantis precinct – ‘Vortex’ before December 2020 and ‘Leviathan’ roller coaster during Easter school holidays in 2021.”

Last month, Village Roadshow agreed to be acquired by BGH Capital, following months of exclusive discussions between the two parties.

If approved, the deal will see the private equity firm take control of Village Roadshow by way of two alternative but concurrent schemes of arrangement representing total value of up to $2.45 per share.

The company said it intends to send an explanatory booklet to shareholders in October 2020, which will also contain an independent expert’s report on whether the acquisition is in their best interests.

Village Roadshow expects to hold a scheme meeting in November and, if approved, the takeover by BGH would be implemented shortly thereafter.

Village Roadshow also revealed in August that it had secured an additional $70 million in funding from existing lenders and the Queensland Treasury Corporation.

The company expects this additional debt facility will be sufficient for it to fund its cash needs for the next 12 months.


Featured image source: Village Roadshow Theme Parks

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