07/23/2002 11:00PM

Churchill Inc. posts record income

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Churchill Downs Inc., the operator of six U.S. racetracks, had net income of $23.1 million in the second quarter of 2002, or $1.73 a share, a record for the company.

Revenues in the quarter, which included the Kentucky Derby, Churchill's most lucrative event, were $172.6 million, also a record and an increase of 5.7 percent over revenues in the second quarter of 2001. Net income was 5.5 percent better than the second quarter of 2001.

Because of the Derby, which generates millions in admissions and wagering revenues, the second quarter is always Churchill's strongest, allowing Churchill to make up for a traditionally slow first quarter, when most of its tracks are closed.

For the first six months of the year, Churchill had net income of $11.1 million, compared to net income of $10.9 million in the first six months last year.

Churchill also owns Calder Race Course in South Florida and Hollywood Park in Southern California, both of which conducted meets during the second quarter. Another Churchill track, Arlington Park in Illinois, opened its summer-fall meet just prior to the quarter ending.

Tom Meeker, Churchill's chief executive officer, said Wednesday that earnings per share at the end of the year will be between $1.77 and $1.80. Churchill's stock opened on Wednesday at $35.55.