Caesars Entertainment Corporation has posted a robust set of Q4 and full-year 2019 results indicating a solid performance during the trading period. The figures were marred, however, by a decrease in full-year operations revenue and in Q4 net income due to high accelerated depreciation and renovation costs incurred during 2018. 

Starting with the fourth quarter, net revenues totaled $2.17bn, up 2.6% year-on-year driven primarily by strength in Las Vegas and growth across all regions, namely Iowa and Indiana, following the opening of new sportsbooks.

Solid consumer demand in Las Vegas resulted in higher revenue, primarily within the firm’s Hotel segment which realized a higher cash/customer mix compared with the prior year, allied to an increase in occupancy.

Fourth quarter income from operations increased 77%, or $77m, from $100m to $177m, while Q4 net income/(loss) decreased $502m, with income of $198m dropping to a loss of $304m. The firm also reported a non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA increase of 2.8%, or $16m, from $567m to $583m.

Lastly for Q4, non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA, excluding the sale and lease of its Las Vegas Rio property, increased 3.4%, or $19m, to $572m.

Headline figures for the full year pointed to a net revenue increase of 4.2%, or $351m, from $8.39n to $8.74bn. Full year income from operations, however, decreased 16.4%, or $121m, from $739m  to $618m.

Net income/(loss) for the 12 months decreased $1.50bn from income of $303m to a loss of $1.20bn. Non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA during the period, meanwhile, increased 4.2%, or $97m, from $2.31bn to $2.41bn.

Tony Rodio, President and CEO, cited a focus on cost controls as helping to shift circa $100m of annualized expenses since the start of 2019. “We’re very pleased that we’re able to deliver these strong results that close the year 2019,” he said. 

“We also have closed the previously announced sale of Rio in Las Vegas to Dreamscape companies in December and received $470m in cash. In January, we announced the sale of Harrah’s Reno to CAI Investments for $50m of net proceeds, which will be split 75% the VICI and 25% the Caesars.”

There was specific mention too, for Caesars’ drive to expand its sports betting activities. Said Rodio: “We also continue to grow our sports betting business across the quarter and are pleased with the progress we’ve made over the past year. We now have 29 seasons branded sportsbooks across seven states.

“As a result of these installations, we have seen an increase in visitation, food and beverage buying particularly in Iowa, Indiana, and Mississippi. We have licenses approved to launch mobile sports betting in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Iowa, and plan to do this over the course of the first half of this year subject to regulatory approval. 

“We reiterate our view of sports betting as being a key value driver for the company and anticipate expanding our footprint to more markets over time.”