08/07/2007 12:00AM

Churchill earnings down on quarter


Churchill Downs Inc. had net earnings of $29.3 million in the second quarter of 2007, a decline of 12 percent compared with net earnings of $33.4 million in the second quarter last year, according to financial statements released Tuesday.

Net revenue in the quarter was $170 million, compared with $163.3 million in the second quarter of last year, a figure that included $10.1 million from insurance related to damage to its Fair Grounds in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Second-quarter expenses this year increased, however, from $115.2 million to $121.7 million.

The second quarter is typically Churchill's best because of revenue from the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday of May. Three of Churchill's four tracks race during the quarter. Fair Grounds, which closed at the end of March, produces revenue through its casino.

In the quarter, Churchill reached an agreement to purchase three account-wagering platforms and a racing-data business. The purchase was financed with $50 million in debt and $30 million cash. Revenue from the new acquisitions and Churchill's own account-wagering platform, Twinspires.com, were approximately $3 million. During the quarter, Churchill had revenue from the new acquisitions for 19 days.

According to the statements, revenue from all four of Churchill's tracks rose in the quarter over last year. At Arlington Park in Chicago, revenues rose from $26.9 million to $28.8 million, and in a statement, Churchill said that betting totals had increased at the track because of larger fields. Before this year's meet, Arlington installed a synthetic track at Arlington.