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UPDATE 1-Australia's Ardent Leisure slashes dividend after Dreamworld accident
June 23, 2017 / 1:31 AM / in 6 months

UPDATE 1-Australia's Ardent Leisure slashes dividend after Dreamworld accident

(Adds details on core earnings guidance, shares)

June 23 (Reuters) - Australia’s Ardent Leisure Group forecast its full-year dividend would be a quarter of last year’s payout, hit by losses at its theme-park division after a fatal accident on a ride at Dreamworld.

The move sent its shares tumbling 4.7 percent to a six-week low.

Four people were killed in October on the river rapids ride at the park, Australia’s biggest, on the Gold Coast tourist strip. Earnings and visitor numbers have fallen sharply since.

Ardent said in a statement that it now expects to pay a full-year dividend of 3.0 cents, compared to 12.5 cents last year.

The company forecast full-year core EBITDA - including earnings from its bowling alley business and divisions in the United States - in a range of A$73 million to A$75 million, an increase of 17-20 percent from the previous year.

Losses for its Australian theme parks division are not seen widening beyond the A$2 million to A$4 million already forecast and earnings from Main Event, its U.S. family entertainment business are forecast flat. ($1 = 1.3266 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sandhya Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Westbrook and Edwina Gibbs)

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