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Aztar Results Down

22 October 2003

PHOENIX, Arizona – (Press Release) -- Aztar Corporation (NYSE: AZR) today announced results for its fiscal third quarter of 2003. Highlights of the quarter, which ended on October 2, 2003, were:

* Earnings per share of 46 cents, diluted, compared with 43 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter.

* EBITDA of $48.6 million versus $49.8 million in the 2002 quarter.

* EBITDA margin of 23.1 percent versus 22.8 percent in the 2002 quarter.

* Operating income of $35.6 million compared with $36.9 million in the year-earlier quarter.

* Net income of $16.9 million versus $16.6 million in the 2002 quarter.

"We are less than five months away from opening the major expansion of our Tropicana Atlantic City, and the excitement level is growing," said Paul E. Rubeli, Aztar chairman of the board and chief executive officer. "The Quarter at Tropicana will bring a new dimension to Atlantic City. With over 40 new dining, entertainment, retail and spa outlets, The Quarter will create a compelling reason for Atlantic City gaming patrons to visit, and become regular customers, at Tropicana."

The expanded Tropicana will feature many of the most well-known and successful brands in their categories. Regional restaurants including New York's Carmine's, Philadelphia's Cuba Libre, and Las Vegas'

Red Square will join well-known national restaurants including P. F. Chang's China Bistro and the Palm Restaurant in making their Atlantic City debuts in The Quarter.

Exciting entertainment venues will include The Sound of Philadelphia nightclub and restaurant, Ri-Ra Irish Pub music club and restaurant, The Comedy Stop Cabaret & Cafe, Planet Rose karaoke club, and The IMAX Theater.

National apparel, accessory and lifestyle brands such as MONDI, Chico's, Brooks Brothers, and White House/Black Market, as well as unique, regional and fun-oriented retailers such as Melonie de France, Old Farmer's Almanac, Zeytinia New York's Gourmet Choice, and The Spy Store will round out The Quarter.

When The Quarter's 40 new outlets are added to the property's existing outlets, the expanded Tropicana will offer over 60 dining, entertainment, retail and spa experiences. There will be more options under one roof than any other hotel or casino on the East Coast and three times more than any other property in the Atlantic City market. In addition to The Quarter, Tropicana will add 502 new hotel rooms for a total of 2,127 rooms; 45,000 square feet of additional meeting space for a total of 122,000 square feet; and a new 2,400-space parking garage bringing the total number of parking spaces to 5,547. The $245 million expansion will be completed in March 2004.

The company recently completed enhancements to other areas of the Tropicana, including a major renovation of the Tropicana's Boardwalk fagade and a new Grand Entryway on Brighton Avenue. The Marketplace at the Boardwalk, containing an additional 280 slot machines and an assortment of dining, entertainment and retail facilities, opened earlier this year.

Capital Expenditures

In the third quarter of 2003, purchases of property and equipment totaled $39 million. Approximately $8 million of the total was spent on routine expenditures, and $31 million (including $2.4 million of capitalized interest) went for development.

Share Repurchase

The company announced on December 11, 2002, that its board of directors had authorized management to make discretionary repurchases of up to 4.0 million shares of its common stock, or approximately 10 percent of common stock outstanding at that time. During the third quarter of 2003, the company purchased 615,271 shares at an average price of $17.88 per share, bringing the total purchased in the program to 3,205,776 shares at an average price of $14.42 per share. There were 34.1 million shares of common stock outstanding at the end of the third quarter of 2003.

Year-to-date Results

For the first three quarters of 2003, the company reported EBITDA of $145.8 million, compared with $146.7 million in the year-earlier period; EBITDA margin was 23.2% compared with 23.1%. Operating income was $107.3 million compared with $108.6 million a year earlier. Net income for the first three quarters of 2003 was $49.2 million, equivalent to $1.33 per share, diluted, compared with $46.8 million and $1.19 per share, diluted, in the 2002 period.

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