Big Fish reels in big profits for Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI) has released their financial figures for the fourth quarter and full year of 2015 on Wednesday and claim to have enjoyed more than 40% growth both in revenues and net profits; most of this upturn is accounted for by the profits generated by their recent acquisition, Big Fish Games.

The Results

Churchill Downs Incorporated, the Kentucky based gambling company that owns and operates several casinos and racetracks across the USA has posted annual revenues of $1.2 billion for the year of 2015, a huge 49% year-over-year increase since 2014; net profit was also up to $65.2 million, 40.5% year-over-year rise. Adjusted EBIDA for the year totalled $335.6 million, up from $202.5 million reported last year. Net income also saw an increase from $46.4 million, in 2014, to $65.2 million this year.

CDI also declared net revenues of $272.4 million in the fourth quarter; up from $168.1 million for the same period in the previous year. The company posted adjusted EBIDA of $59.5 million for the quarter, compared to $28.5 million reported for the same period last year. Net income amounted to $7.5 million, compared to the loss of $13.8 million from a year ago.

Big Fish, Big Profits

Churchill Downs purchased the Seattle based, gaming studio, Big Fish Games for a total sum of $485 million in December 2014. Big fish generated a turnover of $413.7 million in 2015, accounting for most of the CDI’s profits in 2015; $113.7 million in the fourth quarter alone. Before the acquisition the studio only generated $13.9 million in the calendar year., CDI’s online betting subsidiary, brought $200.2 million in revenues in 2015, 5.2% more than the $190.3 million earned in the previous year. They generated $43.8 million in the fourth quarter, up from $40.9 million reported for the same period in 2014.

Churchill’s five casinos reported net revenues of $332.3 million for the full year compared to $328.3 million reported in 2014; quarterly net revenue was up to $80.4 million from $78.5 compared to the final quarter of 2014.

Racing Results Down

Churchill’s racing operations, which include its four racetracks, reported net revenues of $248.6 million over the course of the full year, down by 4.9% from $261.5 million recorded in 2014. Net profits for the quarter were $29.9 million, down from $30.4 million reported the year before.

Large profits from Big Fish and TwinSpires along with organic growth see in the casino ventures have offset the decline in Racing revenue for Churchill Downs in 2015.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of CDI announced that the positive net cash flow in the year is a reflection of the company’s superior approach to capital allocation and operational efficiency. He believes that the company will continue to enjoy long-term sustainable growth in the future.


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