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Theme park numbers lower after disaster

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016 Ethan James

Visitor numbers have fallen at Village Roadshow's Gold Coast theme parks following the fatal accident at rival Ardent Leisure-owned Dreamworld last month.

Village Roadshow, which owns Gold Coast theme parks Movie World, Wet 'n' Wild and Sea World, revealed at its annual general meeting on Thursday that business had been "inconsistent" since the Dreamworld accident, which took the lives of four people on October 25.

Chairman Robert Kirby said the company was "hesitant to extrapolate any trends" from the lower attendance numbers.

"We do believe it will take time for the community and the marketplace to fully recover from the tragedy," he said.

The company's share price was 21 cents, or 4.3 per cent, lower at $4.71 at 1355 AEDT.

Village Roadshow shares have failed to return to their $5.25 mark prior to the Dreamworld tragedy, while shares in Ardent Leisure also remain about 25 per cent lower.

Mr Kirby said the company would have have a clearer understanding of the accident's impact by its half-year results, expected in February.

Village Roadshow predicts earnings growth on the back of new theme parks rides, upgraded cinemas and film projects.

A hybrid golf game is expected to draw crowds Movie World late next year.

A surge in Chinese tourists will lead to a "substantial tourism growth curve" in the region, Mr Kirby said.

Village Roadshow also has consulting agreements with Chinese theme parks opening in 2017 and 2018.

The company has flagged renovations and new cinemas across the country and part-owned FilmNation is working on content for streaming services Stan and Netflix as well as Australian feature films.

"These growth opportunities will result in an increase in (Village Roadshow's) leverage, until earnings from development are of course realised," Mr Kirby said.

Village Roadshow was hurt by a general drop in DVD sales, down 4.3 per cent across the industry over the 2016 financial year, Mr Kirby said.

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