Minnesota-based racetrack Canterbury Park rebounded strongly from the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) disruption in Q3, though ongoing capacity restrictions and weakened customer demand meant revenue remained down year-on-year.
Revenue for the three months ended September 30 came to $13.3m, down 28.5% from the third quarter of 2019, though up significantly compared to the first quarter.
The Q3 total was only just below the $13.7m generated over the first six months of 2020, a period that saw the track suspend operations from March 16 to June 9.
This included month-over-month improvements in table games revenue at the venue’s card casino, which began the quarter with double-digit declines in July, reducing to a single digit drop in August, then a slight rise for September. This ultimately resulted in revenue for table games falling 16.0% in the quarter.
While it was able to complete a modified 53-day race meet, capacity being limited to approximately 10% of average visitor numbers, plus the loss of 12 racing days, meant that on-track wagering was down 65%.
However, this was offset by a 116% rise in handle from out-of-state wagering outlets, meaning pari-mutuel revenue ended the quarter up 16.9% year-on-year. Food and beverage revenue, meanwhile was down 77.6%, with other revenue falling 59.5%.
“We continue to work closely with state and local officials to increase capacity in our Card Casino and our simulcast wagering location in a safe manner and to communicate our health and safety efforts to our guests,” Canterbury Park president and chief executive Randy Sampson said.
“We expect that when allowed to operate without the current restrictions and as guest visitation begins to return to pre-pandemic levels, the financial performance of these operations will continue to improve.”
Operating expenses, meanwhile, fell 28.5% to $12.2m, thanks to limited operations and efforts to actively reduce outgoings.
A $2.3m gain related to the transfers of land to the Doran Canterbury II and Canterbury DBSV joint ventures, to build housing on racetrack-owned land, led to operating profit for the period increasing to $1.9m.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) came to $1.2m, down from $2.3m in the prior year. After financial expenses, net profit for the quarter was up 60.7% to $1.8m.
“While our third quarter results reflect the continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on all aspects of our operations at Canterbury Park, the quick actions we took to reduce labor and other operating expenses along with our disciplined approach to conserving cash have helped ensure we have the liquidity and flexibility to position the company for long-term health and growth,” Sampson said.