Following a strong performance Q1, Boyd Gaming’s CEO Keith Smith highlighted that the company is on the road to recovery, although the operator is still looking to make further gains in the 65-and-over segment and grow its destination business.
Boyd Gaming executives celebrated a positive Q1 with the company setting record EBITDAR and seeing a significant rise in new player sign-ups.
The operator reported net income of $102.2m for the quarter ended 31 March, compared to a net loss of $147.6m for the year-ago period. Revenue was $753.3m, up from $680.5m last year.
“This was an exceptional quarter for our company, as we achieved the strongest EBITDAR and margin performances in our history. As economic conditions improve and COVID vaccinations continue to roll out, we are seeing increased visitation and growing spend-per-visit across every customer segment,” said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming.
A strong spring showing for the company – which owns 28 gaming properties in 10 states – helped lead to “an all-time EBITDAR record” of $292.6m, rising from $144.4m in Q1 2020.
“Our disciplined operating strategy is producing strong flowthrough on revenue gains, driving significant EBITDAR growth and enhanced margins,” Smith continued. “We are also making excellent progress on our strategic growth initiatives, including launching our first Stardust-branded online casinos in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and commencing construction on the Wilton Rancheria Tribe’s resort near Sacramento, California.”
Boyd also achieved new EBITDAR records in each of its two largest operating segments during the quarter. “In the Las Vegas Locals segment EBITDAR exceeded our previous record by 11 percent and was up 22 percent over 2019,” Smith stated. “In our Midwest and South region, EBITDAR grew nearly 40 percent over 2019 beating the previous record by almost 20 percent.”
New player sign-ups for the quarter were up 35 percent over Q4 2020. “Beyond the sheer increase in quantity, it is the quality of these guests that is far more impressive. On an overall basis, the worth of our first quarter sign-ups was over 50 percent higher than the first quarter of 2019,” Smith noted.
Nevertheless, Boyd aims to make further gains in the 65-and-over segment. “While we have seen strong growth from this demographic in the last several months, many are still on the sidelines. And as our country continues to make progress against the pandemic, we are confident that more of these guests will return to our properties as the year progresses,” added Smith.
The company is also looking for opportunities to grow its destination business, which remains below pre-pandemic levels. “The softness has been particularly noteworthy at The Orleans, which draws a significant amount of business from destination travellers. This has also impacted our downtown Las Vegas segment, where visitation from our core Hawaiian customers has been severely restrained by travel restrictions,” Smith stated.