Ardent Leisure on a profit roll

Ardent Leisure's first half profit jumped 20 per cent to $22.7 million due to strong growth across its Australian and US divisions.

Ardent Leisure wants to reinvent its Australian bowling business by using the success of its family entertainment centres in the United States as a blueprint.

Ardent, which owns the Kingpin and AMF bowling alleys, announced the plans as it reported a 20 per cent jump in first half profit to $22.7 million.

The growth was driven largely by the ongoing success of its Main Event family entertainment centres in the US, along with improved earnings from its Australian bowling alleys, and theme parks on the Gold Coast.

Ardent said a trial of the Main Event format at its Kingpin bowling alley in Darwin had proved a success, with visitors now being offered a ropes course, karaoke rooms, laser skirmish and an extended arcade games area.

The company will now turn its attention to refurbishing Kingpin at Melbourne's Crown Casino as it seeks to roll out the US model across Australia.

"What we have learned from Darwin is when we have these multi-attraction entertainment centres, they really do drive business," chief executive Deborah Thomas said on Wednesday.

"In Darwin there has been a focus on food and beverage with places to sit, giving people a good reason to dwell in that space.

"It truly is that multi-attraction entertainment centre."

The bowling division lifted revenues by 11.6 per cent during the first half, while earnings rose by a fifth.

Ardent's 22 Main Event centres also enjoyed revenue and earnings growth, with plans under way to open five more US centres in the second half and a further eight next financial year.

Ardent's theme parks division, which includes Dreamworld and WhiteWater World on the Gold Coast, was boosted by increased Chinese visitor numbers and extended trading hours during summer.

Revenue at the parks rose 6.6 per cent to $58.4 million.

Growth is expected to continue, aided by an expected rise in international visitors to the Gold Coast and the lower Australian dollar.

Meanwhile, earnings at Ardent's Marinas sank by 5.7 per cent due to the refurbishment of The Spit Marina in Sydney and adjacent construction works at Victoria Harbour in Melbourne.

Ardent's shares fell seven cents to $1.755.

ARDENT RIDES HIGH

* Net profit up 20.4pct to $22.7m

* Revenue up 16.8pct to $333.8m

* Flat interim dividend of seven cents a share.

Source: AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch