Aztar Reports Second-Quarter 2005 Results - Tuesday 12th of July 2005

Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR - News) today reported financial results for its 2005 second quarter, which ended on June 30, 2005; the fiscal 2004 quarter had ended on July 1, 2004. Consolidated EBITDA was $54.2 million for the second quarter of 2005; in the 2004 second quarter, EBITDA was $46.7 million, including $3.4 million of construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses related to the 2003 construction accident on the site of the Tropicana Atlantic City expansion. Diluted earnings per share in the 2005 second quarter were 41 cents, which included three cents associated with other income and construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses, versus 25 cents in the 2004 quarter, which was after 15 cents associated with a loss on early retirement of debt and which included five cents attributable to construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses.

Our Casino Aztar riverboat properties in Indiana and Missouri continued their outstanding performance in the second quarter, together showing a 12% year-over-year increase in EBITDA. Tropicana Las Vegas reported a 6% increase in EBITDA on very strong room occupancy and average daily rate, while Ramada Express in Laughlin, Nevada, performed on a par with the year-earlier quarter. Tropicana Atlantic City continued to build momentum in its second full quarter since the opening of the expansion late last year and produced, excluding construction-accident-related items in both years, a year-over-year increase in EBITDA of 50%.

"During the second fiscal quarter, casino revenue at the Tropicana in Atlantic City grew 25%, significantly outpacing the market," said Robert M. Haddock, Aztar Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer. "That level of revenue growth allowed the property to more than cover the incremental operating costs associated with the expansion and to deliver a 25% EBITDA margin. Looking forward, we believe that the expanded facilities at the Atlantic City Tropicana will permit us to continue to drive significant additional revenue growth and margin expansion."

Tropicana Atlantic City Expansion

The Tropicana Atlantic City expansion includes a new 502-room hotel tower; The Quarter at Tropicana, which is a 200,000-square-foot dining, entertainment and retail complex; a 2,400-space parking garage and 20,000 square feet of meeting and conference space.

Other Income

Other income consists of insurance recoveries for the rebuilding of the damaged portion of the Tropicana Atlantic City expansion after the construction accident that occurred on October 30, 2003, net of direct costs to obtain the recoveries.

Capital Expenditures

In the second quarter of 2005, purchases of property and equipment totaled $16 million. Approximately $13 million of the total was spent on routine expenditures, and $3 million went for development.

Year to Date Results

For the first half of 2005, the company reported EBITDA of $99.9 million compared with $93.4 million in the first half of 2004. Diluted earnings per share in the 2005 first half were 68 cents, which included six cents associated with other income and construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses and which is after five cents related to a loss on settlement of retirement plan benefits, versus 35 cents in the 2004 half, which is after 15 cents associated with a loss on early retirement of debt and 31 cents associated with an adverse court ruling regarding income taxes in Indiana and which included 12 cents of construction accident insurance recoveries net of expenses.

Conference Call

Our second-quarter 2005 earnings conference call will be broadcast live on the Internet beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, July 20, 2005. Individuals may access the live audio webcast through our website at www.aztar.com. The call also will be available on replay through that website for one year following the call.

Selected Results ($ in millions, except ADR, which is Average Daily Rate)

Second Quarter Year to Date

2005 2004 2005 2004

(unaudited) (unaudited)

Tropicana Atlantic City

Revenue $122.7 $96.4 $234.5 $188.2

EBITDA $30.9 $24.3 $52.0 $47.8

Depreciation and amortization $10.9 $8.0 $21.6 $15.9

Operating income $20.0 $16.3 $30.4 $31.9

EBITDA margin 25.2% 25.2% 22.2% 25.4%

Operating income margin 16.3% 16.9% 13.0% 17.0%

Occupancy 91.9% 94.2% 86.5% 90.2%

ADR $94.74 $87.93 $89.81 $82.57

Tropicana Las Vegas

Revenue $41.8 $42.1 $84.0 $82.7

EBITDA $10.7 $10.1 $21.7 $19.4

Depreciation and amortization $1.5 $1.5 $2.9 $3.0

Operating income $9.2 $8.6 $18.8 $16.4

EBITDA margin 25.6% 24.0% 25.8% 23.5%

Operating income margin 22.0% 20.4% 22.4% 19.8%

Occupancy 100.0% 100.1% 98.8% 99.1%

ADR $92.17 $83.84 $95.78 $85.03

Ramada Express Laughlin

Revenue $23.4 $22.8 $49.9 $47.1

EBITDA $6.0 $6.0 $14.8 $13.2

Depreciation and amortization $1.6 $1.6 $3.3 $3.1

Operating income $4.4 $4.4 $11.5 $10.1

EBITDA margin 25.6% 26.3% 29.7% 28.0%

Operating income margin 18.8% 19.3% 23.0% 21.4%

Occupancy 70.2% 70.6% 75.7% 73.2%

ADR $38.12 $35.51 $34.19 $32.24

Casino Aztar Evansville

Revenue $33.5 $32.1 $68.9 $65.3

EBITDA $10.3 $9.6 $21.3 $19.7

Depreciation and amortization $1.9 $1.4 $3.7 $2.8

Operating income $8.4 $8.2 $17.6 $16.9

EBITDA margin 30.7% 29.9% 30.9% 30.2%

Operating income margin 25.1% 25.5% 25.5% 25.9%

Occupancy 93.2% 88.1% 88.8% 86.8%

ADR $63.92 $61.17 $63.83 $61.03

Casino Aztar Caruthersville

Revenue $6.9 $5.3 $14.3 $11.4

EBITDA $1.5 $0.9 $3.3 $2.2

Depreciation and amortization $0.8 $0.7 $1.5 $1.4

Operating income $0.7 $0.2 $1.8 $0.8

EBITDA margin 21.7% 17.0% 23.1% 19.3%

Operating income margin 10.1% 3.8% 12.6% 7.0%

Corporate

EBITDA $(5.2) $(4.2) $(13.2) $(8.9)

Depreciation and amortization $0.0 $0.0 $0.0 $0.0

Operating income $(5.2) $(4.2) $(13.2) $(8.9)

Consolidated

Revenue $228.3 $198.7 $451.6 $394.7

EBITDA $54.2 $46.7 $99.9 $93.4

Depreciation and amortization $16.7 $13.2 $33.0 $26.2

Operating income $37.5 $33.5 $66.9 $67.2

Net income $15.5 $9.3 $25.4 $13.0

EBITDA margin 23.7% 23.5% 22.1% 23.7%

Operating income margin 16.4% 16.9% 14.8% 17.0%

Net income margin 6.8% 4.7% 5.6% 3.3%

EBITDA Explanation and Reconciliation

EBITDA is net income before income taxes, loss on early retirement of debt, interest expense, interest income, other income, and depreciation and amortization. EBITDA should not be construed as a substitute for either operating income or net income as they are determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Management uses EBITDA as a measure to compare operating results among our properties and between accounting periods. We manage cash and finance our operations at the corporate level. We manage the allocation of capital among properties at the corporate level. We also file a consolidated income tax return. Management accordingly believes EBITDA is useful as a measure of operating results at the property level because it reflects the results of operating decisions at that level separated from the effects of tax and financing decisions that are managed at the corporate level. We also use EBITDA as the primary operating performance measure in our bonus programs for executive officers. Management also believes that EBITDA is a commonly used measure of operating performance in the gaming industry and is an important basis for the valuation of gaming companies. Our calculation of EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies and, therefore, any such differences must be considered when comparing performance among different companies. While management believes EBITDA provides a useful perspective for some purposes, EBITDA has material limitations as an analytical tool. For example, among other things, although depreciation and amortization are non-cash charges, the assets being depreciated and amortized may have to be replaced in the future, and EBITDA does not reflect the requirements for such replacements. Other income, interest expense, net of interest income, loss on early retirement of debt, and income taxes are also not reflected in EBITDA. Therefore, management does not consider EBITDA in isolation, and it should not be considered as a substitute for measures determined in accordance with GAAP. A reconciliation of EBITDA with operating income and net income as determined in accordance with GAAP is shown below (in millions).

Second Quarter Year to Date

2005 2004 2005 2004

(unaudited) (unaudited)

EBITDA

Tropicana Atlantic City $30.9 $24.3 $52.0 $47.8

Tropicana Las Vegas 10.7 10.1 21.7 19.4

Ramada Express Laughlin 6.0 6.0 14.8 13.2

Casino Aztar Evansville 10.3 9.6 21.3 19.7

Casino Aztar Caruthersville 1.5 0.9 3.3 2.2

Property EBITDA 59.4 50.9 113.1 102.3

Corporate (5.2) (4.2) (13.2) (8.9)

Depreciation and amortization (16.7) (13.2) (33.0) (26.2)

Operating income 37.5 33.5 66.9 67.2

Other income 2.9 -- 4.4 --

Interest income 0.3 0.2 0.5 0.4

Interest expense (14.2) (8.8) (28.0) (17.4)

Loss on early retirement

of debt -- (8.6) -- (8.6)

Income taxes (11.0) (7.0) (18.4) (28.6)

Net income $15.5 $9.3 $25.4 $13.0

Margins

Margins are calculated as a percentage of revenue.

Aztar is a publicly traded company that operates Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ramada Express Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, Casino Aztar in Caruthersville, Missouri, and Casino Aztar in Evansville, Indiana.

The disclosures herein include statements that are forward looking within the meaning of federal securities law. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as the company "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "foresees," "forecasts," "estimates," "targets," or other words or phrases of similar import. Similarly, statements herein that describe the companys business strategy, outlook, objectives, plans, intentions or goals are also forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of the company. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to war and terrorist activities and other factors affecting discretionary consumer spending, economic conditions, the impact of prospective new competition in Pennsylvania, uncertainties related to the extent and timing of our recoveries from our insurance carriers for our various losses suffered in connection with the accident on October 30, 2003, the extent to which our existing operations will continue to be adversely affected by the ongoing effects of the accident on October 30, 2003, the extent to which we realize revenue and EBITDA increases as a result of the Tropicana Atlantic City expansion, our ability to execute our development plans, estimates of development costs and returns on development capital, weather, litigation outcomes, judicial actions, labor negotiations, legislative matters and referenda including the potential legalization of gaming in Maryland and New York and VLTs at the Meadowlands in New Jersey, and taxation including potential tax increases in Indiana, Missouri, Nevada and New Jersey. For more information, review the companys filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the companys annual report on Form 10-K for December 30, 2004 and certain registration statements of the company.

For additional information, please contact Joe Cole, Vice President, Corporate Communications, at 602-381-4111.

Aztar Corporation and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)

For the periods ended June 30, 2005 and July 1, 2004

(in thousands, except per share data)

Second Quarter Six Months

2005 2004 2005 2004

Revenues (a)

Casino $172,833 $151,097 $344,655 $304,338

Rooms 28,098 23,249 53,226 43,464

Food and beverage 15,107 14,267 30,088 27,779

Other 12,271 10,041 23,662 19,131

228,309 198,654 451,631 394,712

Costs and expenses (a)

Casino 68,414 63,206 137,519 126,620

Rooms 12,696 11,044 23,694 20,617

Food and beverage 14,417 13,934 28,542 26,922

Other 8,174 7,597 16,099 14,942

Marketing 24,103 18,203 49,137 36,495

General and administrative 22,879 20,397 49,219 41,325

Utilities 5,947 4,584 12,315 8,805

Repairs and maintenance 6,746 6,460 13,366 12,635

Provision for

doubtful accounts 329 160 707 493

Property taxes and insurance 7,773 7,577 16,293 15,030

Rent 2,085 2,207 4,023 4,248

Construction accident related 860 1,574 1,269 1,615

Construction accident

insurance recoveries (301) (5,000) (526) (8,500)

Depreciation and

amortization 16,681 13,212 33,027 26,235

190,803 165,155 384,684 327,482

Operating income 37,506 33,499 66,947 67,230

Other income 2,855 -- 4,428 --

Interest income 294 212 536 379

Interest expense (14,206) (8,735) (28,068) (17,409)

Loss on early

retirement of debt -- (8,621) -- (8,621)

Income before income taxes 26,449 16,355 43,843 41,579

Income taxes (10,996) (7,008) (18,479) (28,565)

Net income $15,453 $9,347 $25,364 $13,014

Net income per common share $.43 $.26 $.71 $.36

Net income per common share

assuming dilution $.41 $.25 $.68 $.35

Weighted-average common

shares applicable to:

Net income per common share 35,141 34,556 34,965 34,439

Net income per common share

assuming dilution 36,980 36,534 36,929 35,871

(a) The Company makes cash promotional offers to certain of its

customers, including cash rebates as part of loyalty programs

generally based on an individuals level of gaming play. In the

first quarter of 2005, the Company concluded that it was appropriate

to classify these costs as a reduction in casino revenue.

Previously, these costs were classified primarily as a casino

expense. Accordingly, the Company has revised the classification of

these costs as a reduction in casino revenue for the second quarter

and six months ended June 30, 2005 in its Consolidated Statement of

Operations. The Company has also made corresponding adjustments to

its Consolidated Statement of Operations for the second quarter and

six months ended July 1, 2004 to classify $7,605 and $13,313,

respectively of these costs, previously classified as an expense as

a reduction in casino revenue. This revision in classification had

no effect on operating income or net income in the Consolidated

Statements of Operations for any period.

Aztar Corporation and Subsidiaries

Consolidated Balance Sheet Summaries (unaudited)

(in thousands)

June 30, 2005 December 30, 2004

Assets

Cash and cash equivalents $57,585 $52,908

Other current assets 55,526 77,646

Total current assets 113,111 130,554

Investments 25,895 23,602

Property and equipment 1,246,682 1,239,146

Intangible assets 34,066 34,380

Other assets 84,244 83,958

$1,503,998 $1,511,640

Liabilities and Shareholders Equity

Current portion of long-term debt $990 $1,292

Other current liabilities 123,601 143,087

Total current liabilities 124,591 144,379

Long-term debt 713,133 731,253

Other long-term liabilities 58,109 64,803

Series B convertible

preferred stock 4,796 4,914

Shareholders equity 603,369 566,291

$1,503,998 $1,511,640

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