Churchill Downs reports record second-quarter revenue boosted by Big Fish, Kentucky Derby

Churchill Downs credits this year’s Kentucky Derby with helping to boost its second quarter revenue.
Churchill Downs credits this year’s Kentucky Derby with helping to boost its second quarter revenue.

After a blockbuster Kentucky Derby and Oaks week, Churchill Downs Inc. reported record second-quarter net revenue of $438.5 million, up 7 percent over the previous year.

On Wednesday, the Louisville-based gambling and racing company reported profits of $69.8 million for the second quarter, up 26.7 percent. That translated to $4.11 per diluted share, a 32.6 percent increase over the same quarter of last year.

Year-to-date, Churchill reported net income of $72.6 million, up 35.7 percent from the same period last year. On a per share basis, Churchill reported $4.27 in net income, up 41.4 percent.

“We delivered record net revenue, net income and adjusted EBITDA this quarter driven by a seventh consecutive record-setting Kentucky Derby week,” CEO Bill Carstanjen said in a statement. “Each of our operating segments showed top-line net revenue growth this quarter, and we continue to maintain focus and discipline on our cost structure.”

Company executives will discuss the results with analysts in a conference call at 9 a.m. Thursday that will be available online at

While Churchill reported Derby week gains of $5.2 million over 2015, the big mover for the company was Big Fish Games, its PC- and app-based games division, which had a $20.7 million increase in revenue for the quarter.

“Bookings,” which are in-app purchases, rose to $127.9 million, although the social casino segment saw a 9 percent decline in average bookings per paying uses, resulting in a $1.9 million drop-off in purchases. The gains were driven by casual and mid-core free-to-play game growth, the company said.

Much of the Derby week gains came from higher ticket prices for Churchill Down’s new premium indoor seating and Turf Club venues, increased media revenue and record attendance, the company said., Churchill’s advance-deposit wagering platform, also showed a $7.5 million increase, while the company’s racing and casinos segments showed a $1.3 million increase in net revenue.