Investors were disappointed with the performance of Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) during the half-year ended 31 December 2015, sending the entertainment group’s share price 4.4% lower late in the session.

Ardent Leisure Group is the owner of various businesses, including Goodlife Health Clubs and AMF Bowling. It also owns Dreamworld and White Water World, which are both located on the Gold Coast.

The company reported revenue of $333.8 million which was a 16.8% improvement on the prior corresponding period as a result of new sites, strategic marketing and improved customer experiences. It also reported a 20.4% lift in statutory profit to $22.7 million, although the underlying result was actually a 5.1% decrease compared to the prior corresponding period at $30.5 million. This was attributed to higher depreciation, tax and interest expenses.

While Ardent Leisure noted that its Australian businesses had performed ahead of expectations, the Main Event business in the United States continues to be the big winner for the group. US dollar denominated revenues grew by 22.6% to US$75.5 million, although this would have been partially driven by the opening of new centres.

Ardent Leisure’s management team appear confident about the future direction of the business under the new leadership of Deborah Thomas, and said the group’s full-year performance will be weighted towards the second half – particularly with the opening of five more Main Event centres during the period.

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