Owner of Worcester and Wolverhampton racecourses Arena Leisure overcame fixture disruption caused by summer downpours to keep its promise of £6 million in annual profits.

In July, Arena described the target - a 6.5% rise on 2006 - as "more difficult" following the cancellation of fixtures at Worcester and Windsor and the closure of its flooded all-weather track at Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

However, Arena said today it still expected profits in the region of £6 million after a busy Christmas period, while it also negotiated a £6.6 million settlement with insurers to cover Southwell's closure until mid-December.

Arena, which operates seven racecourses and one-quarter of the UK's annual horseracing fixtures, was also lifted by higher-than-expected attendances at a revamped Doncaster racecourse for September's St Leger Festival, which Arena said "bodes well for the future".

Although punters at the world's oldest classic turf race boosted revenues, they were matched by greater-than-expected one-off opening costs.

Meanwhile, Arena said it had won a contract to manage racing at the UK's first new track in 80 years.

Arena has signed an initial one-year contract to manage the floodlit all-weather course at Great Leighs in Essex which is set to host about 80 days racing a year starting from March 18.

Arena is also planning major expansion at its Wolverhampton course, including a hotel, conference centre and the UK's first "racino" - a casino at a racetrack which is waiting for Government approval.

Lingfield Park is also set for redevelopment, but Arena said it had deferred plans for a revamp of Windsor due to the extent of work already underway.

Arena said: "With Doncaster Racecourse successfully re-opened and with a full year of operations ahead, Southwell and Worcester racecourses restored following the summer flood damage and the major hotel-based developments commencing, the board is optimistic that the group will continue to move forward in 2008."

Praising a "positive update", analyst Mark Reed of Landsbanki said: "Arena is in a unique position to further consolidate UK racetracks, exploit the development potential and grow earnings through the increasing commercialisation of UK horse racing, supported by strong management."

He said there also remained rumoured bid interest from the Reuben brothers, the UK-based billionaire investors and property developers.