Warm winter boosts Penn National’s 1Q profits

A mild winter and increased consumer spending helped boost the profits of Hollywood Casino Bangor’s parent company, Penn National, according to financial statements released today.

The company saw profits of $78.6 million in the first quarter, up from $51.5 million in the same period a year ago.

“Our first quarter revenue … significantly exceeded guidance primarily due to the robust growth of the East/West segment relative to our projections, which we believe was attributable to a combination of the mild East Coast winter, healthier consumer spending, and excellent operating performance by our property teams,” said Peter Carlino, the chairman and CEO of Penn National.

The eastern segment of the company’s business, which includes the Maine property, saw net revenues of $370.6 million, up from $288.4 million in the first quarter of 2011.

In a recent study from the Center for Policy Analysis at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, it was reported that after five continuous years of growth, revenues at Hollywood Casino Bangor dropped off for the first time in 2011 as the New England gambling market becomes more competitive.

The declining revenues came before the casino added table games to its lineup in March, but the Bangor casino will face increased competition in Maine starting in June with the opening of the Oxford Casino.

The general manager of the Bangor casino told the Bangor Daily News that competition isn’t the only reason for the decline and he didn’t think the drop was indicative of a trend.

Hollywood Casino’s decline in revenues, down 3.6 percent from 2010 to 2011, mirror declines at other New England casinos such as Foxwoods and Monhegan Sun in Connecticut, which both saw declines of between 1 and 2 percent, and Newport Grand in Rhode Island, which saw a decline of 6.2 percent, according to the UMass-Dartmouth study.

However, according to figures updated monthly on the State of Maine Gambling Control Board’s website, revenue at the Bangor casino rebounded during the first quarter of this year. The total net revenue for the first three months is $15,175,947.

“It’s actually one of the best first quarters we’ve ever had, and that’s only with two weeks of table games,” Hollywood Casino Bangor GM John Osborne told the BDN last week. “Our revenue for January, February and March of 2010 was $14.5 million, but last year it was $13.5 for the same period.”