Isle of Capri appointed new CEO

Isle of Capri Casinos reported yesterday financial results for the third fiscal quarter ended January 27, 2008, and announced that Jim Perry, a seasoned gaming industry executive, will become the company’s CEO on March 10, replacing Bernard Goldstein in that position.

Bernard Goldstein, chairman of the board and CEO, commented: „Since joining our board last July, Jim Perry has served as the chair of a joint strategic committee comprised of members of our Board and our management team. Our goal was to develop a plan to make our assets more competitive, more closely align our operating strategy with the needs of our customers and strengthen our balance sheet. I firmly believe that the strategic plan developed under his leadership will serve as a platform for the future growth of the company. As such, I am announcing my retirement from the position of CEO and it is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Jim Perry to the position of Executive Vice Chairman and CEO”.

Over the past decade, Perry has served as the president, CEO and as a member of the board of directors at both Trump Entertainment Resorts and Argosy Gaming Company. With nearly 30 years of experience leading major gaming operations and companies in regional and destination markets, he is recognized as one of the gaming industry’s most distinguished executives. During Perry’s tenure at Argosy, the company built one of the strongest balance sheets in gaming, was an industry leader in EBITDA margins, and was recognized by several leading publications for record earnings growth and financial stability.

„Bernie Goldstein and the Isle board of directors have offered me a wonderful opportunity to work with a very talented team, to continue to enhance the value of the company for our shareholders, improve the gaming experience for our customers, and build a strong company with opportunity for our employees. I appreciate both their support and their confidence in me,“ Perry said.

„The main components of the strategic plan are to focus on organic growth opportunities, and to consolidate our portfolio into two brands based on a variety of factors, including the size of the facility, amenities, and the size of the primary markets served,“ Perry explained. „Our Isle brand will feature regional facilities with hotel rooms and convention facilities designed for both business and leisure travelers, with upgraded amenities, all of which will complement our casino product.“

When talking about financial results, Virginia McDowell, president and chief operating officer, affirmed: „We have a tremendous opportunity to unlock shareholder value by further improving operating results. We have made progress over the course of fiscal 2008, most notably in Black Hawk, the Quad Cities and Boonville. Despite pressure on the economy, EBITDA and margins have continued to improve at several properties year over year. In addition, we continue to re-engineer our business processes at both the corporate and property levels.”

She continued: “A re-organization at the corporate office, during the third quarter, included a reduction in the workforce and the introduction of cost saving programs which we expect, when fully implemented, will result in expense reductions of over USD 3 million annually. In addition, we are continuing to evaluate, consulting agreements and agreements with outside contractors for additional expense reduction opportunities”, and added: “At the property level, we continue to identify margin improvement opportunities. In many cases, programs eliminated at the corporate level represent a direct savings to the operating units.”

The company reported a loss from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 of USD 13.8 million compared to a loss from continuing operations of USD 8.9 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Results of operations for the three and nine month periods ended January 27, 2008 and January 28, 2007 reflect the consolidated operations of all the subsidiaries.

During the quarter ended January 27, 2008 net revenues increased by USD 38.8 million or 16.8% as compared to the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Net revenues increased a combined USD 63 million in Pompano, Florida, Waterloo, Iowa, Caruthersville, Missouri and Coventry, England each of which has originated casino operations or been acquired subsequent to the third quarter of fiscal 2007.

EBITDA for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was USD 40.3 million compared to USD 33.7 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2007. Property EBITDA for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 7.6% to USD 52.8 million compared to Property EBITDA of USD 48.7 million for the comparable quarter in fiscal 2007.