Canterbury: Net Income Down, But Revenue Up

Canterbury Park Holding Co. reported a decrease in net income for the first three months of 2003 compared with the same period in 2002, but an increase in revenue for the three-month period.

Net income was $839,087 this year compared with $931,038 last year. Revenue in 2003 was $9,229,250 compared with $8,947,223 in 2002. Diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2003 were $.21 compared with $.24 for the same period last year.

The 3.2% increase in revenue is attributable to an 8.3% hike in revenue from the card club at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn. Card club revenue went from $4.5 million the first three months of 2002 to $4.9 million the first three months of 2003.

The increase in card club revenue was partially offset by a 6.4% decrease in pari-mutuel revenue to $3.1 million, compared with $3.3 million for the same period in 2002, primarily due to the cancellation of numerous simulcast races because of severe winter weather at other racetracks.

Operating expenses increased $405,000, or 5.5%, compared with the first quarter a year ago. The card club generated increased operating costs, and the company also has expenses associated with a legislative push for slot machines.

"The slight decline in first-quarter net income was not entirely unexpected given our legislative efforts and the substantial related expenses incurred during this first quarter," Canterbury Park president Randy Sampson said. "On the other hand, we are encouraged by the continued success and increasing popularity of the card club as evidenced by the fact that six of our 10 biggest days since opening the card club occurred in the first quarter of 2003.

"Also encouraging has been the progress of the racino proposal to allow electronic gaming devices to be operated by the Minnesota State Lottery at the racetrack."

The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 18, 2003, and since has passed three House committees and the full House.

"We are pleased with the progress of the bill, however, it is still hard to predict the outcome of the legislative debate, and there is no assurance that this bill or a similar bill will be enacted into law this year," Sampson said.

Canterbury, which opens for live racing May 16, has remodeled its first floor, created a new group-sales area, added Mexican-themed concessions, and purchased a nearby RV park to provide housing for horsemen. Purses will average about $120,000 a day.