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Village Roadshow eyes Suicide Squad boost

AAP logoAAP 25/08/2016 Marty Silk

Village Roadshow hopes the Suicide Squad comes to the rescue of its home entertainment business and says it will do more to take advantage of sunny days at its Wet 'n' Wild water parks.

Earnings for the film and theme parks company's film distribution business fell 29 per cent to $24.5 million in 2015/16, with strong titles including Mad Max: Fury Road and the fifth series of Game of Thrones unable to compensate for lower margin titles.

Film piracy and the closure of ABC Stores around the country also hurt sales in the home entertainment market, co-chief executive Graham Burke said.

Village's full-year net profit fell 64 per cent to $15.7 million for 2015/16 but income lifted seven per cent to $1.07 billion.

Mr Burke said growth prospects for the home entertainment business in the next six months would depend on films being rolled out now.

"For example Suicide Squad I think is going to be a giant," he said.

Meanwhile, earnings from the company's theme parks, including those on the Gold Coast and in Las Vegas, rose by $500,000 to $88 million and its cinema exhibition businesses raked in record earnings for a fifth consecutive year, of $82 million.

However, the Sydney Wet 'n' Wild theme park's earnings slipped one per cent on the back of wild storms during the September school holidays in 2015.

Mr Burke said the company would work to get more out the sunny days this year by extending operating hours during twilight hours and after dark.

"The probability is that we've had our bad run and we might get seven more years with good weather. I'm quite optimistic about Sydney's prospects," Mr Burke said.

Village Roadshow took a loss of $35.2 million on investments, restructuring and asset write downs.

VILLAGE ROADSHOW'S DISAPPOINTING

* Net profit down 64pct to $15.7m

* Income from continuing operations up 7.0pct to $1.07b

* Final dividend flat at 14 cents, fully franked

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