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T-bone

Village set to build on growing theme

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I thought some people may find this interesting. The article is from the Age newspaper (link here: http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/vil...067276903.html) Credit should go to Jesse Hogan for writing the article.

VILLAGE Roadshow may build more theme parks in Australia to capitalise on a 35 per cent earnings boost from the division in the past financial year. The company's overall earnings of $45.1 million for the year to June 30, flagged in a revised estimate a fortnight ago, followed a $40.7 million loss a year earlier. Village's decision to buy out the remaining shareholders of the Sea World and Movie World theme parks was seemingly justified by respective increases in attendance of 6.9 and 5.8 per cent. Village's other park on Queensland's Gold Coast, Wet 'n' Wild, was the standout, with an 18.8 per cent rise in attendance. Earnings from the theme parks division, adjusted for full ownership, rose from $29.6 million to $40 million. Chief executive Graham Burke confirmed the company was looking at building theme parks in Australia and overseas. "At this point we don't want to go into specifics because it's competitively sensitive," he told BusinessDay. "But we're looking at theme park opportunities both here and overseas." Earnings at Village's majority-owned radio network, Austereo, were up 13.4 per cent to $66.9 million, which Mr Burke attributed to the "absolute pros" running the business. "It's helped by the fact the overall market is very healthy and the ratings are strong, so she's running like a Swiss watch," he said. Village's film distribution earnings slipped 8.4 per cent during the year to $15.3 million, but its only division in the red was film production. That division posted a $1.1 million profit in 2006 but lost $55.8 million in the past year, due largely to a decision to close a portfolio of films it co-financed at a loss of $45 million. Mr Burke acknowledged the division had had a "rough run" but said he was optimistic about its latest portfolio, which includes The Brave One, with Jodie Foster, I Am Legend, with Will Smith, and Get Smart, with Steve Carrell. A strong second half in Village's cinema earnings more than offset a negative first half, and Mr Burke said the performance had been "cooking" in the first two months of the present financial year. "We're way ahead of budget, way ahead of last year, so we're looking very optimistically towards our '08 year," he said. The company also said it was negotiating to merge its film production division with a company in the music sector. Mr Burke said completion of the deal was "potentially imminent". Village shares rose 6¢ to $2.90. Ordinary shareholders will receive a 9¢ fully franked final dividend on December 6, while preferential shareholders will receive a 12¢ fully franked dividend.

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Well, since the waterpark side of things is doing so well I think they should look at building more, I mean fairly low capital cost, general bias towards the local market in terms of attendance breakdown, and fairly simple to operate. Getting that Sunshine coast one off the ground is a given, Sydney could work if it were seasonal (that's the way most American water parks operate, even in sunny places like LA so dont give me that "only QLD is warm enough" bull) Melbourne could work too if It were indoor. I cant see them getting anywhere in the International market for a while....remember how they were trying to get a park built at Sensosta Island in Singapore, the winning bid for that project actually went to Universal, which sort of shows that they have a while to go until they are capable of offering what the big guns are. MELBOURNE please.

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They have been talking about this for the last couple of years, G Burke gave the same interview mid last year about the building of new parks. At this stage i would rather see them add more to the Gold Coast park then go one a building spree across the country.

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