AHL half-year result underpinned by strong exhibition performance
Amalgamated Holdings has posted a marginal lift in underlying first-half profit after strong exhibition results were offset by a weaker performance in its hotels division and Thredbo Alpine resort.
The company posted a 4.7 per cent lift in normalised (stripping out significant items) half-year net profit to $49.5 million. Actual net profit fell to $47.3 million from $65.2 million, which included a $2.2 million one-off cost to open the QT Sydney Hotel during the half and a $17.9 million one-off net gain in the previous half related to a VAT refund.
AHL managing director David Seargeant said the result was pleasing given the first quarter was 29 per cent down on the prior year.
"The recovery was driven in large part by our exhibition business and the standout performance of Skyfall, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” he said in a statement.
“Trading conditions in the hotels and resorts segment reflected a slight softening in demand, as both corporate and leisure markets were affected by the continuing economic and political uncertainty. In Thredbo, despite improved skiing conditions, earnings were impacted by the competition in lift ticket pricing and increased costs, particularly energy.”
The Australian cinema exhibition arm grew normalised profit (before interest and income tax expense) by 12.2 per cent to $24.02 million, driven by increased merchandising sales and other revenues which offset a relatively flat box office. An 8.5 per cent lift in merchandising revenue per admission was driven by the rollout of a new Gold Class menu and the continued success of the self-serve Scoop Alley candy bar concept. The performance of AHL's 50 per cent stake in the Village-managed circuit in Victoria lifted by 30.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, the company's New Zealand exhibition arm posted an 84.4 per cent lift in normalised profit to $2.09 million while its German exhibition arm posted a 2.2 per cent lift in normalised profit to $16.16 million.
However, the hotels division, which posted a a 21.8 per cent fall in normalised net profit to $12.3 million, was hit by soft demand, particularly in the government, corporate and leisure segments. The company's Thredbo Alpine Resort posted a 6.9 per cent decline in normalised profit to $13.25 million after heavy discounting, rising energy costs and increased legal and marketing expenses.