05/07/2012 5:02PM

Churchill Downs Inc. shows $1.35M net earnings on record revenue in first quarter


Churchill Downs Inc. had net earnings of $1.35 million in the first three months of 2012 on record first-quarter revenue of $138.2 million, according to financial statements released on Monday.

The first-quarter profit compares favorably to a $3.19 million loss in the first quarter of last year.

Churchill has typically lost money in the first quarter of the year because of a dearth of live race dates, but the company's entry into the account-wagering and casino markets has smoothed out those dips.

For the quarter, online revenue was up 20 percent, from $36.8 million in the first three months of last year to $44 million this year, Churchill said. In a release accompanying the financial statements, Churchill said that handle through its Twinspires.com account-wagering company was up 15.2 percent during the quarter. Twinspires.com is the largest account-wagering operation in the United States.

Net revenue from racing operations was down 5 percent during the quarter, from $31.6 to $30.2 million. Of the four tracks owned by Churchill, only Fair Grounds in New Orleans ran any live race dates during the quarter. Churchill also owns Churchill Downs in Louisville, Arlington Park in Illinois, and Calder Race Course in Florida.

Net revenue from the company's three casinos was even with last year, at $59.3 this year compared with $59.0 million last year. Churchill operates casinos at Calder and Fair Grounds, and it owns a casino in Mississippi.