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Weather pounds Century Casinos first-quarter earnings

Published: May 15, 2014, 5:19 pm, by Wayne Heilman

Winter storms in Colorado blew away much of Century Casinos Inc.‘s first quarter profits, the Colorado Springs-based gaming operator said Thursday.

Earnings declined 69.3 percent to $510,000, or 2 cents a share, even as revenue jumped 61.8 percent to $29.1 million after Century raised doubled down on its Polish subsidiary, raising its stake from a third to two thirds. Much of the reduction resulted from Century’s casinos in Cripple Creek and Central City, where operating earnings were down 45.5 percent.

The company also blamed the decline on lower-than-expected performance from its Polish casinos, the Easter holiday falling in April this year instead of March as it did last year and a weak Canadian dollar’s impact on its casinos in Calgary and Edmonton.

“We expect to see continued weakness in the Colorado gaming market, which remains very competitive with most properties” using expensive promotions to drive customer traffic, Peter Hoetzinger, Century’s co-CEO, said in a conference call Thursday with stock analysts and investors.

Century’s profit and revenue totals for the quarter fell well short of forecasts by analysts, who expected the company to earn 6 cents a share on revenue of $31.7 million. Century’s shares fell 12 cents, or 2.1 percent to $5.56 in trading Thursday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The company’s stock has declined more than 30 percent since hitting a 6-year high of $8.05 on March 21.