Dreamworld takes massive hit in revenue for December

Dreamworld revenue is down as much as $15 million for November and December.

Image: Parkz. Dreamworld takes a hit in December as the park slowly returns to full trading.

Ardent Leisure, owners of Dreamworld have released revenue figures for the month of December, the first month of trading since the Thunder River Rapids accident in October that claimed four lives.

Ardent Leisure's Dreamworld trading update today provided the latest information relating to revenue at the struggling theme park:

"From re-opening on 10 December 2016 to 31 December 2016 the Theme Parks division recorded unaudited revenues of $3.66 million down 63.0% on revenues of $9.89 million recorded in the prior corresponding period."

Based on an earlier update that put the operating costs for the month of November – when the park was shuttered due to the ongoing investigation – at between $4 million and $4.2 million, Dreamworld have almost certainly recorded a loss for the month of December.

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With $7.6 million less revenue in November, $1.6 million in "one-off costs" relating to the Thunder River Rapids incident and $6.32 million less revenue in December, Dreamworld have effectively shaved off $15.52 million compared with last year's results.

For the 2016 financial year, the theme park division of Ardent Leisure recorded an EBITDA of $34.7 million off of $107.6 million in revenue. 

The fixed costs of operating a theme park – and Dreamworld's ongoing commitment to guest and staff experience – means that reduced attendance and revenue doesn't typically translate to reduced operating expenses.

If this trend of drastically lower revenue continues into the peak trading month of January and beyond, a profitable year for Dreamworld becomes increasingly unlikely.