BUSINESS

CDI sets revenue record thanks to social games, casinos and (oh yeah) racing

TAGs: big fish games, churchill downs incorporated

churchill-downs-inc-record-revenueRacing, casino and social gaming operator Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) generated record revenue in 2015 following a full year’s contribution from its Big Fish Games division.

CDI reported revenue of $1.21b in 2015, 49% more than in 2014, while earnings rose two-thirds to $335.6m and net income spiked 42% to $65.2m. For the three months ending Dec. 31, CDI’s overall revenue rose 62% to $272.4m, while the company netted a $7.5m profit versus a $13.8m loss in Q4 2014.

Big Fish Games’ social and mobile games offering was the undisputed Q4 star, generating revenue of $113.7m and earnings of $28.5m. Big Fish Casino led the way with $48.1m, although this was up a mere $1.2m year-on-year. Average bookings per paying user rose 15% but this was offset by an 11% decline in average paying users.

Big Fish’s Casual Free-to-Play division was the real star, nearly tripling year-on-year to $47.4m. Average paying user ranks rose 132% and average bookings per paying user rose 26%, which the company credited to the continued success of its Gummy Drop! title and the late Q3 launch of Dungeon Boss.

Premium games continued their decline, falling one-fifth to $25.8m as players transitioned from paid PC games to free-to-play mobile titles. The Premium division was further walloped by $1.1m in unfavorable currency exchange impact.

Second on CDI’s Q4 revenue chart was its brick-and-mortar casino business, which improved 2.5% to $80.4m. Business was up in Maine, Florida and the VSI properties in Louisiana, down in Mississippi and New Orleans (the latter due to the new smoking ban).

CDI’s online advance deposit wagering business TwinSpires reported betting handle up 10.8% in Q4, easily outpacing the industry average of 2.3%. TwinSpires revenue improved 7.3% to $43.8m but earnings fell $200k to $9.9m due to higher expenses.

CDI’s former mainstay racing operations saw revenue fall $500k to $29.9m in Q4 as decreased business at Arlington erased a strong Fall Meet at CDI’s flagship Churchill Downs track.

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