Monarch Casino & Resort Inc. boosted its spending on marketing and promotions during the first quarter and it paid off as the parent of Atlantis Casino Resort Spa reported higher revenues and earnings.
The company reported earnings of $5.5 million on net revenues of $37.8 million for the quarter. That compares with net income of $4.8 million and revenues of $35.6 million a year earlier.
The profits marked the highest first-quarter net income in the company's history.
Monarch's margin increased to 14.6 percent in the first quarter of this year from 13.4 percent a year ago.
The company said its selling and administrative expenses rose by $689,000 or 6.4 percent year-over-year. Most of the increase came from higher marketing costs as well as increased payroll, the company said.
John Farahi, chief executive officer and chairman of the company, said revenues in Monarch's three major operating units casino, food and beverage and hotel were at the highest level ever during a first quarter.
Casino revenues, he said, were up 4.9 percent. Food and beverage revenues rose 7.8 percent over year-earlier figures, and revenues at the hotel rose 13.2 percent.
Farahi said the company is on track to begin a 116,000-square-foot expansion of Atlantis during this spring. The work is scheduled for completion in mid-2008.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, Monarch reaffirmed that it expects to finance the $50 million expansion project on its own.
The company has no long-term debt and had $44.2 million in cash on its books at the end of March.