Copyright 2004

[ August 16th 2004 ]

Big Brother and Lara Croft have helped Macquarie Leisure Trust to a $17.4 million profit for the June 30 year, a rise of 51 per cent on the previous year. The trust said it was now looking for other investments and was confident of the future trading prospects of its Dreamworld and d'Albora marinas assets. Chairman Neil Balnaves said Macquarie Leisure was "now well positioned to pursue the acquisition of other leisure assets that provide opportunities for profit improvement through the application of specialised operational management".

The booming growth of the residential corridor around the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast also means the trust will push forward on the masterplan for the 30ha of land it owns next to the park. The land is earmarked to be part of the broader Coomera town centre.

Chief executive Greg Shaw said last year the trust envisaged work on the project was 10 years down the track. However, because of the booming residential development in the area, it was now three to five years. The trust benefited from increased growth across all market segments at Dreamworld. Attendance at Dreamworld for the year was up almost 13 per cent and total revenue grew by 14.5 per cent to $67.7 million.

Earnings per security for the period increased 43 per cent to 11.44 while distributions per security increased 23 per cent to 9.2. Revenue for the first month of the new financial year of $8.3 million was up by 13 per cent on the same time the previous year.

Mr Shaw said the Lara Croft Tomb Raider attraction had been a huge success as was the Big Brother house and both had fitted into the trust's strategy of leveraging off already successful brands. The Nickelodeon rides had also been a big success for children. He said an example of this success was shown by significantly higher revenue and profit while capital expenditure was only $1.8 million. Mr Shaw said every year the Big Brother television series reinvented itself with a new house and new cast which meant a new attraction for Dreamworld.

The trust will add to its existing high-end thrill rides with the September launch of The Claw, a pendulum ride that propels people nine storeys high with a 360 degree spin.

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