Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (the “Company”) today announced record net
income, earnings per share, casino revenues, net revenues and EBITDA for
the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2003. For the fourth
quarter ended December 31, 2003, net income improved 36.4% over the fourth
quarter ended December 31, 2002, increasing from $1,298,636, or $0.14 per
diluted share, to $1,771,073, or $0.19 per diluted share. This fourth
quarter improvement was mainly due to a 26.0% reduction in interest and
stockholder guarantee fee expenses over last year’s fourth quarter due to
reduced debt outstanding and lower applicable interest rates, and to a
lesser increase in operating expenses relative to the increase in
revenues. Casino revenues increased 7.5% in the 2003 fourth quarter over
the same period last year. The increase in casino revenues was mainly
driven by improvements in slot machine, Keno and poker room revenues.
Fourth quarter hotel revenues also grew in 2003, increasing 2.2% over the
2002 fourth quarter. Food and Beverage revenues decreased 0.5% in the 2003
fourth quarter as compared to the 2002 fourth quarter, while other revenue
centers increased 2.9% over the same period. Net revenues for the quarter
ended December 31, 2003, were $28,263,822, a 4.8% increase over the
$26,960,916 for the same period a year earlier. EBITDA (1) for the fourth
quarter of 2003 saw a 16.5% improvement over the fourth quarter of 2002,
increasing from $5,293,624 to $6,165,987.
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2003, net income increased 11.7% to
$9,605,923, or $1.02 per diluted share, as compared to $8,603,346, or
$0.90 per diluted share, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002. This
improvement in net income is directly attributable to a 33.0% decrease in
interest expense and related stockholder guarantee fee expenses in 2003
over 2002, which resulted from lower outstanding debt levels as well as
lower applicable interest rates. The Company also reported record casino
revenues of $74,955,744 for the year, an increase of 5.9% over the
$70,772,939 in 2002. The increase in casino revenues for the year was
mainly attributable to increases in slot machine, Keno and poker revenues.
Hotel revenues also broke Company records during fiscal year 2003,
increasing 4.6% over the 2002 fiscal year results. Food and beverage
(2.5%) and other (8.5%) revenue centers also improved during the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2003 over the fiscal year ended December 31, 2002.
The increases in all revenue centers contributed to record net revenues
for the 2003 fiscal year, increasing 4.4% over the 2002 fiscal year.
EBITDA (1) improved 1.8% during the year ended December 31, 2003, as
compared to the same period in 2002, increasing from $27,515,903 to
$28,006,847. The Company achieved record EBITDA (1) despite having
incurred litigation costs associated with its recently settled lawsuit
against the City of Reno and other third parties, as well as an increased
gaming tax rate imposed by the State of Nevada that took effect on August
1, 2003. The Company incurred approximately $505,000 for both of these
expenses in 2003, without comparable expenses in 2002.
The Company also announced today that it expects to complete the
refinancing of its bank credit facility that matures on June 30, 2004 by
February 27, 2004.
John Farahi, Co-chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monarch
complimented the Atlantis team and the Company’s product following the
record results: “We achieved record numbers once again in a very
competitive environment. I am particularly pleased with our fourth quarter
results. Despite increased competition from California Native American
casinos and increased gaming tax rates, our fourth quarter EBITDA (1)
increased approximately 16.5% over the year 2002 fourth quarter.”
Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. also announced today that the Company’s 2004
Annual Meeting of Stockholders will be held on Wednesday, May 26, 2004, at
10:00 a.m. local time, at the Company’s Atlantis Casino Resort, 3800 South
Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada 89502. The record date for stockholders
entitled to vote at the Annual Meeting is Thursday, April 8, 2004.
Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, owns
and operates the tropically-themed Atlantis Casino Resort in Reno, Nevada.
The Atlantis is the closest hotel-casino to and is directly across the
street from the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, which completed a $105
million expansion and renovation in August 2002. The Atlantis is
recognizable due to its Sky Terrace, a unique structure rising
approximately 55 feet from street level and spanning 160 feet across the
street with no intermediate support pillars. The Sky Terrace connects the
Atlantis to a 16-acre parcel of land owned by the Company, that is
compliant with all casino zoning requirements and is suitable and
available for future expansion of the Atlantis facilities and is currently
being used by the Company as additional paved parking for the Atlantis.
The existing Atlantis site offers almost 1,000 guest rooms in three
contiguous high-rise hotel towers and a motor lodge. The tropically-themed
Atlantis features approximately 51,000 square feet of high-energy casino
space with 37 table games and approximately 1,450 slot and video poker
machines, a sports book, Keno and a poker room, and offers a variety of
dining choices in the form of nine high-quality food outlets.