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Ardent posts 11pc rise in H1 profits

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AAP

2013-02-21

Ardent Leisure has boosted its half year profit by 11 per cent, largely thanks to its newly-acquired health clubs and entertainment centres in the US.

The theme park owner on Thursday posted a net profit of $21.4 million in the six months to December 31, up from $19.2 million in the previous corresponding period.

Total revenue lifted to $219.7 million, from $200 million.

Ardent said the positive results were driven by an exceptional performance by its Goodlife Health Clubs arm, following the acquisition of 11 clubs from Fenix and eight Fitness First facilities in the half.

Revenue from the businesses was up 23.7 per cent to $62.8 million.

The company's Main Event division in the US also recorded a 23 per cent spike in revenues in the first half.

That outperformed its Australian theme parks - including Dreamworld and WhiteWater World - whose total revenue was up 5.5 per cent to $55.9 million over the period.

Ardent said operating margins at its theme parks fell as a result of increased licence fees and higher electricity costs from carbon and network fees.

Ex-tropical cyclone Oswald also put a dent in theme park revenues in January, when it lost more than $1 million after closing its parks over the Australia Day long weekend.

Revenue from its marinas division and bowling centres also fell slightly in the first half of the 2013 financial year.

Ardent says it expects the second half of the year to benefit from the full impact of its recent health club acquisitions and developments in the US.

"These initiatives will also result in an increased diversity and resilience of earnings in future periods to underpin the group's strategy to deliver consistent and growing distributions to investors," the company said in statement on Thursday.