Harlow Casino Improves Churchill Downs' 1st Quarter Earnings by 54%

After a record-breaking Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs announced on May 9th, 2011, Monday, that gaming revenue from its Harlow Casino and from online wagering improved the group’s 1st quarter earnings. Net revenue improved by 54%, to $131.6 million dollars from $85.2 million dollars in the same period last year, according to the data released by Churchill Downs officials on Monday.

Earnings before the addition of interest, depreciation, taxes and amortization, increased to $11.2 million dollars, compared with a loss of $5 million the 1st quarter of last year. Earnings also take into consideration a full 1st quarter of revenue from Churchill Downs’ casino facility at Calder Race Course in the state of Florida, which opened in January 2010.

That situation helped the group managed its net loss from continuing gaming operations to $3.2 million dollars or nineteen cents a share, compared to a loss of $8.1 million dollars or sixty cents per share last year, a 68% improvement. Churchill Downs usually incurs a loss in the 1st quarter because only one of its four horse racetracks offers live racing at that time.

Churchill Downs Incorporated’s chairman-elect and chief executive, Bob Evans, said that they are very happy with the results of the 2011 Kentucky Derby weekend, where they achieved a new record for visitor attendance.

Evans said that they also experienced improvements over 2010 numbers in on-horse racetrack and all-sources betting on both Oaks and Kentucky Derby days and improved earnings from visitor admissions and sponsorships year-by-year.

Based on initial estimates, Churchill Downs expects to earn an additional five million dollars to six million dollars from Kentucky Derby-related events. Evans said that the opening night of the Derby attracted a total of 38,142 visitors, more than double of the usual visitor turnout during an opening day horse race at Churchill Downs.

Evans said that they are also keeping an eye on the water level near their Harlow Casino on the Mississippi River after officials declared an emergency on May 3rd, 2011 by the Washington County, Mississippi river levee board.

Evans said that the board informed them that they have to close their gaming facility until further notice. Evan said that they do not know what will be the effect of the closure to the revenue of their Harlow Casino.