Nicholas L. Ribis, DJT president and chief executive officer, said that the refinancing will "substantially enhance" the long-term liquidity of Trump Marina in not only reducing interest expense and generating new working capital, but also in extending maturities on the debt from the current year 2000 to the year 2003 and eliminating approximately $6 million per year in debt service requirements. "I have said that a key objective in 1998 is to reduce the amount and cost of DJT debt," said Mr. Ribis. "The Marina Refinancing is the first step in that direction. There will be more to come."
Mr. Ribis noted that although DJT's overall debt is currently $1.8 billion. "People forget, however," he said, "that DJT has grown from $195 million in revenues in 1995 to $1.4 billion today. That's a tremendous amount of growth for any company to absorb in less than three years. And now it is time to focus on the overall debt structure of the Company."
Mr. Ribis said that increased liquidity resulting from reductions in the cost of debt will be an important and growing factor in the overall performance of the Company. "We believe that the Atlantic City market, unlike Las Vegas, will have steady and positive growth for the foreseeable future."
Mr. Ribis added that DJT is ideally positioned to take advantage of that growth after recently completing more than $75 million in renovations, re-themeing and other property enhancements at all of its casino resorts. "Atlantic City's consistent, stable growth, combined with the fact that there are no new facilities until approximately 2003, has attracted the interest of the entire industry," said Mr. Ribis. "This is a major difference from the situation in Las Vegas where there is substantial new hotel and casino capacity to be added in late 1998 and throughout 1999."
Mr. Ribis said that DJT is prepared to take advantage of this window of opportunity. He said the Company would launch, in late May, new print and TV ad campaigns to reach consumers with the message concerning its Atlantic City facilities and the significant improvements made to Atlantic City's infrastructure such as the new convention center and the grand entrance to the city, located at the base of the Atlantic City expressway, which leads directly to the entrance of Trump Plaza.
According to Mr. Ribis, EBITDA for the entire DJT group increased 45% in 1997 compared with 1996. "We've been able to create an operating culture of marketing and cost control that now compliments our growth," Mr. Ribis said. He added that DJT reduced its costs by $23 million in 1997 and expects to realize another $12 - $15 million in cost savings in 1998.
Trump Hotel Casino Resorts, Inc. (THCR) owns and operates Trump Plaza Hotel Casino, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Marina Hotel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ as well as Trump Indiana, the Company's riverboat casino at Buffington Harbor, IN on Lake Michigan. THCR is the exclusive vehicle through which the Company will engage in new gaming activities in both emerging and established gaming jurisdictions both in the United States and abroad.