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Ardent Leisure Group (ASX:AAD) share price up following results

The Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) share price continues to head up, gaining another 1.37% on Thursday, after the company this week released its FY 2018 results.

Ardent Leisure, which owns leisure and entertainment assets across Australia, New Zealand and the United States, announced a net loss of $90.7 million for FY 2018.

It was another year of losses for the entertainment company still suffering for the tragedy at its Dreamworld asset in the Gold Coast in which four people died in 2016.

Ardent was forced to write down the value of Dreamworld by $75 million and reduced ticketing prices in an attempt to attract visitors following the tragedy. But visitor numbers remain down.

Ardent reported revenue for the group of $547.5 million for FY 2018, representing a drop of around 5% on last year’s figure.

Ardent’s troubles have seen the company’s share price shed almost 4% of its value over the past year, tanking hard since July 24 when the group’s shares were going for around $2.06.

Other companies in the space have fared better: The Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd (ASX: EVT) share price has gained more than 20% over the past year while the Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price is up by more than 40%.

However, the Ardent share price has been heading up over the last couple of weeks and is now trading for about $1.85 after slipping to $1.71 earlier this month.

It seems Ardent is pegging its revival hopes on growing its US business, Main Event, and a revitalisation of its Theme Park business, which includes Dreamworld.

Ardent stated that it has a “strong” balance sheet to grow those businesses, strengthened by recently selling its Bowling & Entertainment business for $160 million and its Marinas business for $126 million.

Interestingly, broker Ord Minnett expressed concerns about encroaching competition bearing down on Ardent’s US business while the ASX leisure company was slow to respond.

Ord Minnett’s announcement came as Ardent’s share price was diving earlier this month.

Ardent also stated that it will pay shareholders a dividend of 8.5 cents per share for FY 2018.

It is clear that Ardent has struggled over the last few years. But the group’s share price may now represent value for some.

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