Ardent Leisure has suffered an almost A$50 million first-half loss after writing down the value of its Dreamworld business by more than A$90m following a slump in visitor numbers after last year's fatal accident.

The company's A$49.4m loss for the six months to December 31 compares to a A$22.7m profit for the same period a year ago.

The disappointing result follows a A$93.6m writedown to the value of Dreamworld's property and equipment in the wake of last October's accident which killed four people.

Ardent's theme park's business, which also includes the adjacent Whitewater World, recorded a A$16.6m slump in its first-half revenue to A$41.8m as the Gold Coast parks and their rides were closed after two men and two women died when a raft flipped on the Dreamworld - and WhiteWater World - remained closed for 45 days and many of its key attractions did not reopen until weeks later after undergoing multiple safety checks. The Thunder River Rapids ride has been closed permanently.


Visitor numbers have been significantly lower since the tragedy but the company remains upbeat about the theme park's long-term prospects and expects a boost from next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"Dreamworld is expected to recover over the course of time, assisted by new attractions and exciting branded retail concepts, supported by promotion to domestic and international visitors," it said in a statement on Thursday

"The Theme Park businesses are also expected to benefit from increased domestic and international tourism to the Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the development of land adjoining the property in Coomera."

Dreamworld's woes overshadowed a positive result for Ardent's fast-growing operations in the US, where its Main Event entertainment centres recorded a 30.2 per cent increase in revenue to A$136.8m.

Ardent cut its interim dividend from seven cents to two cents per share.

The company's shares were down 39 cents, or 18.1, to $177 at 1054 AEDT.


• Half-year loss of A$49.4m, vs a A$22.7m profit


• Revenue down 5 per cent to A$317m

• Interim dividend down 5 cents to 2 cents a share, unfranked.