Churchill Downs revenue hits record $364.1m in Q1

| By Robert Fletcher
Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has opened 2021 with a record-breaking performance over the three months to 31 March.

Group revenue for the first quarter of 2022 increased 12.3% year-on-year to $364.1m (£290.4m/€345.9m), a new record for the business.

Gaming was the top performer over Q1 with revenue of $179.2m, up 16.4% year-on-year, aided by capacity restrictions at its Oxford Casino Hotel in Maine, Flordia’s Calder Casino and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania.

The gaming division is set to expand further through the acquisition of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, which adds properties in New York, Virginia and Iowa to CDI’s portfolio.

The operator’s advance deposit wagering business Twinspires followed with revenue of $101.4m, down marginally year-on-year, after a decline in horse racing revenue was partially offset by growth from its sport and casino business. That operation is being wound down, however.

CDI’s live and historical horse racing business reported a 34.8% jump in revenue. It credited the $87.2m total to increased revenue from Kentucky’s Oak Grove and Derby City Gaming sites. 

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to $128.5m compared to $110.6m in Q1 2021. 

With many properties returning to full capacity as Covid-19 restrictions were lifted, operating costs for the quarter rose 14.1% to $316.7m. This left an operating profit of $47.4m, a marginal year-on-year increase. 

This figure was reduced by $21.3m in interest expenses, though a $32.5m share of equity from unconsolidated affiliates meant that pre-tax profit was increased by $11.2m, to $58.6m. After $16.5m income taxes were factored in, CDI’s net profit for the quarter came to $42.1m, up 16.6% year-on-year.