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Caesars Entertainment narrows its first-quarter loss

With the company’s bankruptcy in the rear-view mirror, Caesars Entertainment Corp. executives on Wednesday said the company would continue to expand domestically and internationally and return shareholder value.

Thanks to revenue produced from its post-bankruptcy Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., the company reported a 104.1 percent revenue increase to $1.97 billion for the quarter that ended March 31.

In Las Vegas, however, Caesars indicated results suffered from a tough comparison with 2017, when the ConExpo-Con/Agg construction equipment trade show was in Southern Nevada in March. Although Frissora said the company experienced its best Chinese New Year visitation in five years, he said local properties are still suffering from the lingering effects of the Oct. 1 shooting.

Adjusted cash flow increased dramatically and the company narrowed net losses in the first quarter.

“Our first-quarter results exceeded our expectations, despite unfavorable year-over-year hold, several weather-related property closures and a shift in the Las Vegas convention calendar compared to the first quarter of last year,” President and CEO Mark Frissora said in a call with analysts.

During the call, the company focused on two new non-gaming international projects announced last week — Caesars Palace-branded resorts in Jumeirah Beach in Dubai and Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico. Frissora said the Dubai hotel, which will include an observation wheel larger than the one near The Linq Hotel will open in 2019 while a groundbreaking in Mexico will occur in the first half of 2019 and open in late 2020.

The company also has negotiated to operate a Harrah’s-branded tribal casino near Sacramento, California. It also indicated it would break ground in June on its planned Caesars Forum Convention Center.

Frissora and chief financial officer Eric Hession outlined the company’s growth plans, but didn’t address an issue raised earlier in the day by the Culinary Union, which called on the company to include worker protection measures as part of the company’s ongoing contract negotiations.

The union is seeking stronger safety language for workers, which includes looking at the companies’ corporation-wide policy on “Do Not Disturb” rooms. Union members have raised issues with a policy that allows guests to hang a “Do not disturb” or “Occupied” signs for more than 24 hours requesting that they want privacy and don’t want anyone to come into the room.

Caesars stock shares closed down 20 cents, 1.7 percent, to $11.50 a share on Wednesday, in above-average trading. After hours, the issue rebounded by 70 cents, 6.1 percent, to $12.20 a share.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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