10/23/2001 11:00PM

Churchill earnings down, revenue up

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Churchill Downs Inc. had net earnings of $7.1 million in the third quarter of 2001, or 54 cents per share, the company announced late Tuesday.

The third-quarter earnings compared with $7.3 million in net income in 2000, or 68 cents per share. The per-share data was much lower in 2001 because Churchill has issued an additional 3.15 million shares since the third quarter last year due to its merger with Arlington Park.

Revenues for the third quarter were $121.2 million, a 16.8 percent increase over revenues of $103.8 million in the third quarter last year.

Because of the merger with Arlington, Churchill had direct revenues from Arlington's operation this quarter instead of the management fee the company received last year at this time.

Tom Meeker, Churchill's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement released by the track that business at the company's six racetracks had slowed markedly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, although handle numbers had begun returning to pre-attack levels in October.

"The uncertainties surrounding the overall economy must be considered over the near term, and it appears reasonable to expect some impact on our business from the continued economic slowdown and the apprehension many consumers are understandably experiencing," Meeker said.