Home » Churchill Downs Inc. net earnings drop 70 percent, revenue down 1 percent

Churchill Downs Inc. net earnings drop 70 percent, revenue down 1 percent

Online business net revenues increase 9 percent

Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2012) — Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) reported results today for the third quarter and nine months ended Sept. 30.

Net revenues from continuing operations for the third quarter of 2012 declined 1 percent, or $1.5 million, to $164.9 million compared to the same period of the prior year. Third quarter EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) declined to $21.3 million, from $43.0 million, during the third quarter of 2011. Net earnings from continued operations for the period were $6 million, or $0.34 per diluted common share, a decrease of 70 percent from net earnings from continued operations of $19.7 million, or $1.16 per diluted common share, during the third quarter of 2011. The decline in EBITDA and net earnings was predominately the result of the $19.3 million in Illinois Horse Racing Equity Trust Fund payments that were received in the third quarter of 2011.

Online Business (consisting of Twinspires.com, Luckity.com, Velocity and CDI’s equity investment in HRTV) net revenues for the third quarter increased 9 percent over the same period of the prior year to $45.6 million. CDI’s online wagering company, TwinSpires.com, reported a handle increase of 10.6 percent, or $20.5 million, compared to 2.2 percent growth of total U.S. thoroughbred industry wagering for the same period, according to Equibase.com.

Despite growth in TwinSpires.com revenue and handle, third-quarter Online Business EBITDA declined $0.8 million, or 8 percent, primarily due to $1.0 million of expenditures related to the launch of the Company’s new real money gaming site, Luckity.com, and the continuation of spending on the development of an exchange wagering platform; increased losses of $0.4 million from our equity investment in horseracing television network HRTV; and severance and other non-recurring costs of $0.6 million.

Racing Operations revenues decreased 6 percent, or $3.9 million, due to three fewer racing days at Churchill Downs Racetrack and weather-related cancellations at Calder Race Course. Racing Operations EBITDA decreased $19.5 million, due to the impact of recognizing $19.3 million from the Illinois Horse Racing Equity Trust Fund along with recognition of insurance proceeds net of losses of $0.6 million during 2011’s third quarter. Partially offsetting these prior year items were EBITDA improvements as operating efficiencies from cost control measures more than offset the fewer live race days and weather-related cancellations.

Gaming revenues decreased $2.4 million, or 5 percent, during the quarter largely because of continued competition in the South Florida market and the closure of the company’s casino and video poker operations in New Orleans for five days in September as the result of Hurricane Isaac. Gaming EBITDA decreased $1.1 million driven primarily by revenue losses at Calder Casino.

The company made a lot of progress building its portfolio of growth opportunities in the third quarter and in the few weeks since, said Robert L. Evans, chairman and chief executive officer.

“We hope to see the revenue and EBITDA growth impact of these new opportunities starting in the fourth quarter of this year, and into 2013 and 2014, including our decision to proceed with construction of our joint venture casino project near Lebanon, Ohio; the completion of the acquisition of Riverwalk Casino Hotel; the launch of the real-money gaming site, Luckity.com; and significant progress on the $15 million renovation and rebuilding of Harlow’s following the 2011 Mississippi River flood which we expect to complete by year-end,” he said.

The Mansion at Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, which is under construction, is 93 percent sold or committed under three- to seven-year contracts, Evans said. The new Paddock Plaza area “will add over 200 upper-price-range seats to our inventory for various big events next year including the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks and our night racing and other events,” he said.