04/19/2012 12:15PM

Penn National Gaming's income soars for first quarter

Email

Penn National Gaming Inc., the owner of 26 casinos and racetracks in 19 North American jurisdictions, had net income of $78.6 million in the first quarter of 2012, a 53-percent increase over net income of $51.5 million in the first quarter of last year, according to financial documents released on Thursday.

Net revenue for the quarter was $736.1 million, up 10 percent compared with net revenue of $667 million in the first quarter of last year, according to the statements. Total operating expenses increased 9 percent, from $544.3 million in the first quarter of last year to $593.4 million for the first three months of this year.

During the quarter, Penn National had interest expense on its debt of $18 million, down 37 percent from interest expense of $29 million in the first quarter of last year.

Among its racetrack properties, Penn National owns Penn National Race Course in Pennsylvania, Zia Park in New Mexico, and Charles Town Races in West Virginia, all of which operate casinos. Penn also owns Beulah Park in Columbus, Ohio, and the company is planning to relocate the track to Youngstown as part of a project to open a casino at the track. Penn also recently purchased Sam Houston Race Park in Texas as part of a strategy to seek casinos in the state.