Criterion ardent on leisure, not gyms

  1. 13.0k

    Criterion ardent on leisure, not gyms

    by: Criterion From:

    The Australian October 28, 2013 1:34PM

    LONG-TIME investors in Ardent Leisure (AAD, $2.01) would argue it's long overdue, but the operator of mainly domestic leisure assets is starting to reap the benefit of prolonged cheap airfares and interest rates and the easing currency. Ardent's expansion of its Goodlife chain of gyms has also proved to be astute, although your sedentary columnist contends health clubs shouldn't be lumped into the leisure'' category.

    Ardent (formerly Macquarie Leisure) today reported first (September) quarter ebitda of $32.3 million, up 19 per cent, on a similar revenue surge to $126m.The second half has also started positively, with all businesses recording further improvements in trading in October,'' says CEO Greg Shaw.

    Ardent also owns the Dreamworld and Whitewaterworld resorts and the Skypoint Observation deck on the Gold Coast, the AMF bowling chain and the Texas-based Main Event indoor family entertainment chain. Generally there's always underlying demand for affordable leisure and all of our businesses are well placed for that,'' Shaw says.

    A year ago Ardent paid $61m for ten Fenix Fitness outlets, mainly in Victoria. This gambit -- inspired by changing demographics that see more ageing baby boomers donning the lycra -- looks to have paid off, with improved margins and ebitda surging 52 per cent to $8.4m (or 4.6 on a constant centre basis).

    Theme park revenues were flat -- broadly in line with this month's commentary from rival operator Village Roadshow -- and under the circumstances Shaw is happy enough with the division's 5 per cent earnings increment.

    Both operators expect to benefit from a joint $15m campaign to attract more visitors to the Gold Coast, based on the theme parks.

    The headwinds have eased and we feel domestic tourism will rebound during the course of the year,'' he says.Ardent's laggard divisions of bowling and marinas have also improved but there's still some way to go.

    Criterion was wary of Ardent ahead of a $70m capital raising at $1.28 in September last year, but we're now more inclined to join the fun (except for the gym bit, of course). -

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    AAD is many top noch analyst little pet.However i disagree these guys are running there buisnesses into the ground and putting there prices up slowly.The public will not tolerate it forever.Di Albora marinas are charging almost 50% more while cutting back on staff and maintanance there buisness is now almost a joke same applies to seaworld.Them parks are getting run down i spent over 100$ at one of the parks just on lunch 4 burgers 4 chips and 4 cokes and the burgers were bad!!!!!swore ill never go back to seaworld again i booked the most expensive rooms there 3 of them and it has turned into an absolute dive.......these guys are break aways from macquarie very smart but lack the common sense of rip your customers off for long enough and they wont come back

    1 like
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    Mind you there was a big spruik on the today show for sea world....hi pressure wooosher with jet ski. The mums will love it . They are the ones they make it......oh dear, let's go to hotel with a rail car !!!! So romantic.

    Last time I passes were for 110 bucks.

    What are they now.

    I would wait till my kids are working....and pay for me!!

    Cheers Doc :shock

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    Is this going back to macquarie.....🤒

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