LAS VEGAS, Aug. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) today provides the following update on damage from Hurricane Katrina:
The company is still unable to estimate the full extent of damage at Harrah’s New Orleans, Grand Casino Biloxi and Grand Casino Gulfport, although it is apparent that the Biloxi and Gulfport properties have suffered extensive damage. Harrah’s has business interruption and property damage insurance covering each of the three properties, as well its other assets in the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. The company is working closely with its insurance carriers and claims adjusters to ascertain the full amounts due to Harrah’s. Harrah’s currently estimates its uninsured operating loss from the closure of the casinos will be approximately 0.5 percent of its annual Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA).
Harrah’s Entertainment currently expects that Harrah’s New Orleans will remain closed for a minimum of four weeks while the company assesses the property’s status and makes remediation and repairs in order to resume operations. The company is currently unable to provide an estimate on re-opening dates for Grand Casino Biloxi or Grand Casino Gulfport.
Harrah’s six other properties in Louisiana and Mississippi — Harrah’s Lake Charles, Horseshoe Bossier City, Harrah’s Louisiana Downs, Grand Casino Tunica, Horseshoe Tunica and Sheraton Casino & Hotel Tunica — are actively supporting relief efforts, and remain in full operation.
More than 6,000 employees work at the affected properties. Harrah’s intends to continue paying employees at the affected properties their regularly scheduled base pay for up to 90 days.
In addition, Harrah’s has established the Harrah’s Employee Recovery Fund to assist employees affected by the hurricane. The Harrah’s Foundation, a non-profit charitable corporation funded by Harrah’s Entertainment, has provided the relief fund with $1 million in initial financing.
Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., is the world’s largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada 67 years ago, Harrah’s has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions. On June 13, 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment acquired Caesars Entertainment, Inc., and now owns or manages through various subsidiaries more than 40 casinos in three countries, primarily under the Harrah’s, Caesars and Horseshoe brand names. With nearly 4 million square feet of casino space, more than 40,000 hotel rooms and nearly 100,000 employees, the Harrah’s portfolio is the most diverse in the gaming industry. Harrah’s Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership.
More information about Harrah’s is available at its Web site — www.harrahs.com.
This release includes “forward-looking statements” intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these statements by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements contain words such as “may,” “will,” “project,” “might,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “would,” “estimate,” “continue” or “pursue,” or the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology. In particular, they include statements relating to, among other things, future actions, strategies, future performance and future financial results of Harrah’s. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events.
Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or results and involve risks and uncertainties that cannot be predicted or quantified and, consequently, the actual performance of Harrah’s may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following factors as well as other factors described from time to time in our reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the sections entitled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” contained therein); financial community and rating agency perceptions of Harrah’s; the effects of economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy in general, and on gaming and hotel companies in particular; construction factors, including delays, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building permit issues; the effects of environmental and structural building conditions relating to our properties; the ability to timely and cost-effectively integrate into Harrah’s operations the companies that it acquires, including with respect to its acquisition of Caesars; access to available and feasible financing on a timely basis; changes in laws (including increased tax rates), regulations or accounting standards, third-party relations and approvals, and decisions of courts, regulators and governmental bodies; litigation outcomes and judicial actions, including gaming legislative action, referenda and taxation; the ability of our customer-tracking, customer loyalty and yield-management programs to continue to increase customer loyalty and same store sales; our ability to recoup costs of capital investments through higher revenues; acts of war or terrorist incidents; abnormal gaming holds; and the effects of competition, including locations of competitors and operating and market competition.
Any forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and, as such, speak only as of the date made. Harrah’s disclaims any obligation to update the forward-looking statements. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements which speak only as of the date stated, or if no date is stated, as of the date of this press release.
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