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Canterbury Park posts $925,976 loss following Covid-19 upheaval


Canterbury Park Holding Corporation, operator of Canterbury Park racecourse in Minnesota, has reported a $925,976 net loss for the first half of 2020, after it was forced to temporarily close the venue due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Net operating revenue in the six months to June 30 totalled $13.7m, down 51.1% from $28.0m in the same period last year.

Canterbury shut its racecourse on March 16, in line with measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, and did not reopen the facility until June 9. This, Canterbury said, led to a significant drop in revenue, as it temporarily lost its primary source of income for a large portion of the first half.

The shutdown of operations at the racecourse meant operating expenses for the period were lower, with the $15.9m spent in H1 down 40.5% from $15.9m last year.

However, this reduction in spending was not enough to offset the year-on-year decline in revenue, and Canterbury posted an operating loss of $2.2m, compared to a profit of $1.3m at the same point in 2019.

When accounting for $183,409 in other operating income, as well as $1.1m in tax benefit, Canterbury ended the first half with a net loss of $925,976, compared to $1.0m in profit last year.

“For more than 25 years, the company has been committed to providing an outstanding entertainment experience for our guests with world-class service while also focusing on growing shareholder value,” Canterbury president and chief executive Randy Sampson said.

“As we begin to return to normalized operations and look to regain operating momentum, we believe we have the balance sheet and financial flexibility to support our card casino, pari-mutuel and hospitality growth initiatives as well as our ongoing efforts to create unique entertainment experiences for our guests, monetize our excess real estate and enhance value for our shareholders.”

Looking at Canterbury’s performance in the second quarter, during which it was most impacted by the Covid-19 closure, revenue amounted to $2.8m, down by 82.9% from $16.4m in the same period last year.

As was the case in the half-year results, Q1 spending Q1 fell 66.2% to $5.1m, but the decline in revenue meant Canterbury posted an operating loss of $2.3m, compared to a profit of $1.3m last year.

Other income totalled $19,719 in Q2 and Canterbury also received $1.1m in tax benefits, but it still posted a net loss of $1.2m for the period, compared to a profit of $957,757 in the second quarter of 2019.

“Our second quarter results reflect the impact of the suspension of operations at Canterbury for the majority of the quarter,” Sampson said.

“Importantly, we believe the quick and decisive actions we took following the closure of our operations in mid-March, as well as the continued progress we are making to monetise the excess real estate that surrounds Canterbury, will ensure we have the necessary liquidity and financial flexibility both to support our day-to-day operations as they continue to ramp up and our long-term development efforts.”