ASX Earnings Wrap: Ardent’s theme parks revenue grows 70pc, Wesfarmers’ profit rises but flags caution ahead
It’s earnings season again as the ASX market announcements page becomes increasingly flooded with earnings lodgements.
To save you the trouble of trudging through it all, we’ve wrapped up the highlights from some of the reports that caught our eye.
Wesfarmers says its businesses continued to respond well to trading and market conditions as the company maintained its focus on long-term shareholder returns.
The group’s largest divisions performed particularly well during the year, with solid earnings reported in Bunnings, and strong earnings growth in Kmart and WesCEF.
Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy and Fertilisers (WesCEF) delivered another strong operating performance and a record earnings result, supported by elevated global ammonia prices.
The company also saw significant earnings growth in Officeworks, which is realising the benefits from productivity investments over recent years.
Looking ahead, the company has advised some caution.
“Cost pressures in Australia and New Zealand are expected to remain elevated, driven by inflation, labour market constraints and wage cost increases, and domestic supply chain costs,” noted its statement.
Following the sale of Main Event business last year, Ardent is now solely focused on its Theme Parks & Attractions business in Australia.
The company’s revenue of $84m is the highest revenue reported since FY16, despite international visitation remaining well below historical levels, and the emergence of macroeconomic headwinds.
The aggregate value of tickets sold in FY23 was the highest recorded since FY16, and was significantly above levels achieved in all subsequent years.
Ardent says its Dreamworld, White Water World and SkyPoint theme parks continue to achieve high guest review scores, which have materially outperformed their Gold Coast theme park peers.
CEO Greg Yong admitted that against the backdrop of interest rate increases over the last 15 months, the business is in a difficult operating environment at this time.
However, Yong says that if there was ever a time for an ‘experience economy’, it is now.
“We are in the midst of an incredibly exciting time, with new attractions launching progressively over the coming years.”
The fintech company says its merchant sales growth was driven by new and existing merchants that are using the company’s white-label instalment solution.
Importantly, operating expenses (Non-IFRS) were US$9.4m, a 14% reduction year-on-year as Splitit maintained its focus on costs and continued to prioritise its pathway to profitability.
Splitit has built up strong key merchant and partner relationships with global companies such as Visa, AliExpress, and Ingenico.
Looking ahead, the company says ongoing integration of new major merchants is a substantial driver of MSV growth, which is expected to continue rising.
“This trend is anticipated to fuel consistent year-over-year revenue expansion, building a strong second half as partnerships and merchant collaborations gain further traction, as Splitit works towards its goals of an end of year run rate of US$0.7B MSV,” said the company.