Monarch Casino achieves ‘healthy’ Q1 thanks to Black Hawk operations

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Monarch Casino & Resort has declared a record first quarter to kick off 2023 after reporting over $116m in revenue during the measuring period.

CEO and Co-Chairman John Farahi noted the company’s Black Hawk property was the “primary driver” towards Monarch’s “healthy” Q1 results as all revenue segments underwent growth.

Publishing its Q1 financials, Monarch reported a record net revenue for the measuring period of $116.6m, up 7.7 per cent year-over-year (Q1 2022: $108.3m) and a new high adjusted EBITDA of $36.5m, a 6.2 per cent increase (2022: $34.3m).

The company, which owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno, Nevada, and Colorado’s Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, stated that the revenue improvement was “driven primarily by the ongoing growth in business at Monarch Black Hawk”. 

Per segment, casino revenue rose by 6.5 per cent YoY to $66.9m (2022: $62.8m), food and beverage grew by 12.6 per cent to $29.3m (2022: $26m) and hotel revenues increased by 1.8 per cent to $15.5m (2022: $15.2m).

Farahi commented: “Our 2023 fiscal year is off to a strong start as the operating momentum builds at Monarch in Black Hawk, Colorado. In Reno, the first quarter results were materially impacted by unprecedented weather disruptions in Northern California, which is a key feeder market for Atlantis.

“Net revenue and Adjusted EBITDA grew to all-time first quarter records of $116.6m and $36.5m, respectively. The Company’s performance in Black Hawk was a primary driver in generating a healthy consolidated Adjusted EBITDA margin of 31.3% in what is historically our slowest quarter of the year in both markets.

“In Black Hawk, we continued to expand market share. All revenue categories, including casino, food and beverage and hotel continued their growth and we believe Monarch Black Hawk has yet to realise its full potential.

“At Atlantis, our primary focus remains the ongoing enhancement of the property. We believe our newly installed casino carpet has revitalised the casino floor. The redesign and upgrade of the hotel rooms in the second tower is on schedule for an anticipated completion before Memorial Day 2023.”

Monarch’s Q1 net income decreased by 2.5 per cent YoY to $17.7m (2022: $18.1m), while selling, general and administrative expenses rose to $25.1m (2022: $24.2m) “driven primarily by increases in utility expense and repair and maintenance expense”.

Farahi added: “With our strong balance sheet and free cash flow, Monarch remains ideally positioned to evaluate and act on potential acquisitions where we can employ our development and operating disciplines to drive long-term value for our stockholders. In the meantime, we will continue to invest in our existing properties and remain committed to returning capital to stockholders. 

“In the first quarter of 2023, we paid a one-time cash dividend of $5.00 per outstanding share of common stock. In the second quarter of 2023, we will pay cash dividend of $0.30 per outstanding share of common stock and we intend to continue to make quarterly payments as part of the previously announced annual cash dividend of $1.20 per share.”