03/16/2005 1:00AM

Churchill net income down


Churchill Downs Inc., the owner of seven U.S. racetracks, had net income of $8.9 million in 2004, compared to $23.4 million in 2003, the company announced late Wednesday.

In a release, Churchill said that earnings were down for the year because of almost $6 million in lobbying expenses to get slot machines at its racetracks and because of two non-cash charges totaling $10.5 million. Part of that amount was a $6.2 million charge against the value of Ellis Park in western Kentucky, one of Churchill's tracks.

Revenues for 2004 were $463.1 million, a 4.3 percent increase over revenues in 2003. Operating expenses, however, increased from $366.9 million to $383.5 million, and administrative expenses increased from $34.1 million to $42.8 million.

Churchill chief executive Tom Meeker said in the release that Churchill is exploring its "options to maximize our Hollywood Park asset."