Thursday, February 25, 2016 :  DIGITAL OPERATIONS BOOST CHURCHILL DOWNS RESULTS
 
Big Fish Games subsidiary delivers the goods.
 
US land gambling and racing group Churchill Downs Incorporated's decision to get into online social gaming through the acquisition of Big Fish Games over a year ago was a sound one, as the latest company results illustrate.
 
In Q4-2015 Big Fish delivered revenue of $113.7 million and earnings of $28.5 million, with casino activity a major contributor at $48.1 million – up $1.2 million y-o-y.  Although there was an 11 percent decline in real-money users, they spent 15 percent more.
 
The freemium casual gaming operations of Big Fish were the top performers though, tripling y-o-y growth in revenues to $47.4 million as the player base soared 132 percent and average income per customer rose an impressive 26 percent following the introduction of new games.
 
The exception was premium games, which continued to disappoint with a 20 percent fall in revenue to $25.8 million, attributed to players trending away from paid desktop gaming in favour of free mobile offers, and adverse forex conditions.
 
On the more traditional online racing side of CDI's operations, TwinSpires outperformed industry norms in growth of wagering volume, with handle up 10.8 percent (more than four times the industry standard) in the quarter. That generated a 7.3 percent rise in revenue to $43.8 million, but higher expenses meant this was not translated to earnings, which actually declined to just $9.9 million.
 
Overall, the CDI group reported that:
 
* In Q4-2015 revenue was up over 60 percent at $272.4 million, and the company achieved a net profit of $7.5 million – a dramatic reversal of the same period a year ago when a loss of $13.8 million was recorded;
 
* Revenue was up 49 percent year on year in FY-2015 at $1.21 billion;
 
* Earnings were up over 60 percent at $335.6 million in 2015;
 
* Net income rose 42 percent to $65.2 million