Canterbury Financials Hold Own in Tough Year

Canterbury Park Holding Corp., parent of Canterbury Park in Minnesota, reported a gain in income for the third quarter of 2009.

In a Nov. 12 earnings release, the company reported net income of $16,395 compared with a net loss of $40,795 for the third quarter of 2008. Third-quarter revenue for 2009 was $12,150,722 compared with $13,236,420 for the same period last year.

The company reported net income of $160,070 on revenue of $31,506,152 for the first nine months of 2009 compared with net income of $422,666 on net revenue of $37,241,376 for the same period in 2008.

The 8.2% decrease in revenue for the third quarter was attributed to an 11.9% drop in card club revenue, a 10% decrease in pari-mutuel revenue, and a 5.5% decline in concessions revenue. Operating expenses, meanwhile, were down 8.8% quarter to quarter.

Canterbury president and chief executive officer Randy Sampson said the financial results “reflect the adverse impact of several factors,” including a weak economy; competition from Running Aces Harness Park, which has a card club and offers full-card simulcasts; and running fewer live Thoroughbred racing dates to maintain a competitive purse structure.

“To meet these challenges, we are continuing our cost-containment efforts and implementing efficiencies across the organization, which has resulted in a decrease in operating expenses of 14.7% for the nine months ended Sept. 30,” Sampson said in a statement. “In addition, we are in the process of upgrading our card club marketing and promotions programs to attract new patrons and increase visits by existing patrons.

“We believe these efforts, combined with our positive cash flow and solid financial condition, will position us for future growth when the economy improves.”

Canterbury for years has lobbied for on-track machine gaming. Racetrack gaming has been under consideration by the Minnesota legislature for some time; the issue usually comes up each year and probably will in the future.

Canterbury earlier released an outline of plans for the “Canterbury Racino,” which would feature gaming and other entertainment options.

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