Spending on new attractions and marketing has contributed to a slight fall in theme park operator Village Roadshow’s annual profit.

Theme park operator Village Roadshow’s profit has fallen despite a bumper first season at its new Sydney water park.

More than 700,000 people visited Sydney’s Wet’n’Wild in its first five months of operation, helping it make a $4.1 million pre-tax profit, even with $5 million in pre-opening costs.

But profit in the year to June from its Gold Coast theme parks, including Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild, dropped from the previous year to $28 million, due partly to spending on a joint marketing campaign with the Queensland government.

Village Roadshow’s film distribution business also suffered a fall in profit, due to underperforming titles such as the Johnny Depp sci-fi movie Transcendence.

The company made a net profit before one-off financial adjustments of $56.5 million in 2013/14, down from $57.2 million in the prior year.

It said the success of Wet’n’Wild Sydney had been an important calling card for its planned entry into the Asian theme park market, which includes a water park expected to open in the 2015/16 financial year in China.

Village Roadshow sees its potential Asian expansion as a vital part of its future.

The company’s original business, Village Cinemas, delivered profit growth in 2013/14, as expansion of its Vmax and Gold Class cinemas increased the average amount spent by each customer.

“People will always want to go out to be entertained,” co-chief executive Graham Burke said.

“We have been very successful in maintaining our theatres and theme parks as fashionable and exciting venues that cater to this insatiable demand.”

Village Roadshows shares were down 21 cents, or 2.8 per cent, at $7.25 at 1345 AEST.


* Full year profit of $45.8m, down 10 pct from $50.9m in 2012/13

* Profit before one-offs of $56.6m down one pct from $57.2m

* Final dividend of 14 cents per share, up from 13 cents