money digest


New Village park

Australian entertainment group Village Roadshow is expanding its investments in theme parks, acquiring Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park in Oahu for $27 million, the company said Wednesday. The acquisition follows a recent restructuring that has seen theme parks become the main focus of Village Roadshow's business, which also includes film production, exhibition and distribution along with a majority stake in the Austereo radio group. VRL is the largest operator of theme parks on Australia's Gold Coast. VRL managing director Grahame Burke said the company will "apply our highly successful Gold Coast formula that has created one of the world's most successful water parks" to the new acquisition. VRL has grown its Wet N Wild Water World on Queensland's Gold Coast from 137,000 attendees in 1989 to more than 1 million in 2007.

Sony strong

Sony has seen solid electronics sales in the U.S. in the first two months of the year despite concerns about a sluggish economy, Sony Electronics COO Stan Glasgow said Wednesday. He added that Sony expects to sell about 5 million Blu-ray Disc high-definition DVD players this year, including models made by other manufacturers. The exec said that Sony Electronics already had a record holiday sales season.

Cox cuts loss

Cox Radio narrowed its fourth-quarter loss thanks to strong local advertising revenue growth in its largest market, Atlanta. Revenue there rose about 15%. Overall, local revenue increased about 3%, but national ad revenue fell 9%. Cox Radio reported a loss of $52.1 million, down from $88 million a year ago. Revenue rose 1.1% to $114.3 million.