August 31, 2017 / 2:12 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Ardent Leisure logs loss; insurance to cover Harvey damage

* Loss due to Dreamworld accident bigger than expected

* One U.S. bowling alley damaged due Hurricane Harvey

* Sees insurance covering loss of earnings, damage due to Harvey (Adds revenue, context on Dreamworld)

Aug 31 (Reuters) - Australia’s Ardent Leisure Group swung to a full-year loss after the number of visitors to its flagship Dreamworld theme park plunged in the wake of a fatal accident.

Ardent also said five of its U.S. Main Event bowling alleys have been closed since Hurricane Harvey hit Houston on the weekend. Four will likely reopen, but one was extensively damaged.

It said, however, that it expects its property and business interruption insurance to cover any costs or loss of earnings.

The theme park operator booked a net loss for the year ended June 30 of A$62.6 million ($49.5 million), bigger than an average forecast for a A$48 million loss drawn from 8 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It booked a A$42.4 million profit a year ago.

The number of patrons at Australian theme parks has fallen sharply after four people were killed in an October 2016 accident on a water ride at Ardent’s Dreamworld, Australia’s biggest theme park.

Revenue from continuing operations fell 4.4 percent to A$498 million, with turnover from Australian theme parks alone declining 34.1 percent to A$70.9 million.

Ardent said it expects Australian visitor numbers to improve over time.

Its shares rose 0.3 percent in early trade, which compares with a 0.6 percent rise on the Australian benchmark index . (Reporting by Chris Thomas; Editing by Byron Kaye and Edwina Gibbs)

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