Fourth quarter and full year revenue declined, but with some positive results as well

Great Canadian Gaming reported declining revenues for the fourth quarter and full year of 2009.

For the quarter, revenues came in at C$96.3 million, a slight decrease from the fourth quarter of 2008. Declines were most pronounced at Boulevard Casino in Coquitlam, British Columbia, the Nova Scotia Casinos and the Great American Casinos in Washington state, primarily due to the challenges of the larger economy, the B.C.-based company said. However, these declines were offset by a $2.6 million increase at the company’s River Rock Casino Resort in Richmond, B.C.

For the year, revenues were C$382.2 million, a 5 percent decline year over year, primarily due again to the weakened economy, which impacted nearly all of the company’s properties.

On a positive note, EBITDA for the fourth quarter was $33 million, a 40 percent increase, with EBITDA as a percentage of revenues, at 33.1 percent, up 6.4 percentage points year over year. The company said the improvement reflects the comprehensive cost-cutting initiated during the fourth quarter of 2008. The cuts reduced operating expenses by $40.4 million for 2009.

The company also completed improvements to River Rock during the fourth quarter. The upgrades, which coast $34 million and were completed in November, include a renovation of the atrium, expanded amenities and an elevated walkway that connects the facility to local rail service.