Isle of Capri Casino, Inc. revenues down, but earnings beat last year's first quarter results

First quarter revenues at the Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. – owner of Bettendorf's Isle of Capri gambling operation – fell 2.4 percent in the first quarter, but the St. Louis-based firm managed to post a $10.3 million profit, 25 cents per share, for the three-month period ended July 24.

Revenues at the gambling firm totaled $240.9 million for the first quarter, compared to $246.9 million for the same period a year ago.

Lower operating costs for rooms, food/beverages, marine/facilities and less interest on the company's nearly $1 billion debt helped offset the lower revenues.

A year ago, the gambling firm reported net income of $3.14 million, 8 cents per share, after recording a $5.3 million loss (13 cents per share) to reflect the closure of its Natchez, Mississippi casino and sale of its nearby hotel to a competing casino there.

Earlier this month, the Isle announced plans to sell its Lake Charles, Louisiana, casino and hotel for $134.5 million. The buyer was identified as an affiliate of Laguna Development Corporation, a Pueblo of Laguna-owned business based in Albuquerque, NM. The sale is expected to close late this year, and is subject to approval of the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

The Lake Charles gambling operation is facing increased competition from a new casino there, and the Isle reported revenues at the Louisiana property fell by nearly 10 percent during the first quarter, compared to a year ago.

While overall revenues fell for the quarter, revenues at the Bettendorf casino were up 6.6 percent compared to a year ago. Revenues totaled $19.2 million for the three months ended July 24, compared to $17.99 million for the same three-month period a year ago.

The company recently relocated its gambling operation from the permanently docked riverboat on the Mississippi River to a new land-based facility between the Isle's two riverfront hotels.

"On June 24, our land-based facility in Bettendorf opened to the public and has been well received," Eric Hausler, chief executive officer at the Isle, stated in the company news release. "The property opened on time at a cost slightly under our previously announced $60 million budget."

CLICK HERE to download the company's first quarter financials.

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