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Is the Ardent Leisure Group share price in the buy zone after its latest Dreamworld update?

The Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) share price has edged higher in early trade after the entertainment company released a trading update for its embattled Dreamworld business.

At the time of writing its shares are up 1.6% to $1.58.

In February its Theme Parks division recorded unaudited revenues of $4.4 million, down 35% on the prior corresponding period.

Although this is still a big drop, it is a vast improvement on the previous two months. In December and January the division recorded reductions in revenues of 63% and 50.4% respectively, compared to prior corresponding periods.

An improvement in visitor numbers has been key. In December theme park visitor numbers were down a whopping 63.5% compared to 12 months earlier.

Things improved in January when numbers were down 44%, before improving further last month with visitor numbers down just 33.6% compared to the prior corresponding period.

Is this the time to buy?

Whilst the company’s Theme Parks division still has a long way to go before it will return to growth, I am pleased to see things improving as they are.

So with its shares down 34% year-to-date, I think Ardent Leisure represents a good buy and hold investment option. In light of this I would choose it ahead of its rival Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL).

Especially with its lucrative Main Event centres in the United States expected to be a key driver of growth for the next decade. Management believes there is the potential for upwards of 200 centres throughout the United States, up from 31 centres today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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