win River Worldwide Holdings reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2018.
"We are pleased with the progress we made on our strategic initiatives in 2018. This past year was transformational for us, with the successful launch of our newest property, Tiverton, the successful opening and ramp of our new hotel at Twin River, the introduction of sports betting across our casino properties and the Dover Downs merger and related launch of TRWH as an NYSE-listed company. I am proud of our team's focus and dedication to these initiatives without losing sight of our customers," said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are on track to close the Dover transaction this month, and our teams are hard at work planning for the integration to capture the synergies and strategic benefits of this combination for our combined shareholders."
The fourth quarter and full year 2018 highlights were as follows:
Summary of Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results
2018 Fourth Quarter Results
Net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 11.9% to $111.4 million from $99.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017. Net revenue increases were the result of the opening of Tiverton and the hotel at Twin River in September and October, respectively. Gaming revenues increased $8.5 million, or 11.3%, hotel revenues increased $1.6 million, or 38.2%, and food & beverage revenues increased $1.5 million, or 14.0%, each compared to the same period in the prior year.
Income from operations in the fourth quarter increased $6.7 million, or 24.0%, year-over-year to $34.7 million. This improvement can be attributed to operating income generated by the increased revenue and a $3.7 million decrease in advertising, general and administrative expenses ("AG&A"). The decrease in AG&A was primarily driven by a $12.8 million decrease reflecting reductions in share-based compensation expense, partially offset by merger and going public expenses and normal volume-related increases.
Net income for the fourth quarter increased by $3.0 million, or 15.5%, to $22.1 million due primarily to increased income from operations, partially offset by $1.8 million of increased interest expense and an increase in the effective tax rate from 17.2% to 20.9%.
Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $37.0 million, a decrease of $1.6 million, or (4.0%), from $38.5 million in the fourth quarter last year driven by increased corporate administrative expenses.
2018 Full Year Results
Net revenue for the year ended December 31, 2018 increased 3.9% to $437.5 million, from $421.1 million in the same period in 2017. This increase was primarily attributable to increases in gaming and racing revenue and non-gaming revenue attributable to the opening of Tiverton on September 1, 2018, partially offset by a decrease of $5.3 million from closing Newport Grand on August 28, 2018. The increase in non-gaming revenue can also be attributed to the opening of the Twin River hotel and, to a lesser extent, due to increases in merchandise, cash services and entertainment revenue.
Total operating costs and expenses for the full year 2018 increased $19.6 million to $316.9 million from $297.3 million for 2017. This increase resulted in income from operations of $120.6 million, which represented a decrease of 2.5% compared to 2017. The year-over-year increase in costs and expenses can be attributed to $6.6 million of costs related to the Dover Downs merger and public company costs, a disposal loss of $6.5 million in connection with the sale of the Newport Grand land and building, a $3.7 million charge incurred associated with a pension plan withdrawal liability, an increase of $2.5 million in expansion and pre-opening costs primarily associated with Tiverton and increased marketing expense to support the opening of Tiverton and the Twin River hotel, partially offset by a $19.3 million reduction in the amount of share-based compensation expense.
Net income for 2018 was $71.4 million, an increase of 14.8% from $62.2 million in 2017. Contributing to the net income increase year-over-year was a reduction in the effective tax rate from 38.4% to 27.0% as a result of federal tax reform.
Adjusted EBITDA for the full year of $165.7 million was essentially the same as 2017.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity
TRWH had $77.6 million in cash and cash equivalents, excluding restricted cash, at December 31, 2018. Outstanding indebtedness at December 31, 2018 totaled $394.2 million including $55.0 million outstanding on the Company's revolving credit facility. The Company's leverage remained relatively consistent at approximately 2.4x compared to the prior year. Capital expenditures for Tiverton and Twin River hotel in 2018 totaled approximately $117 million.
Following the Dover Downs merger, the Company plans to consider a potential tender for a portion of its outstanding common stock or another transaction to provide a return of capital to shareholders. The amount, timing and terms of any such transaction, if any, will be determined at that time and be based upon prevailing market conditions, the Company's financial condition and prospects and other factors, including conditions in the bank, credit and debt capital markets.