Sands eyes bigger share of Macau gaming market after 52pc net rise
Sands China, the Macau operation of US casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, is poised to further expand its share of the city's lucrative gaming industry after posting hefty gains in last year's final quarter.
"In Macau, we delivered record financial results with outstanding growth and strong operating momentum reflected in every segment of our business," said Adelson, the chairman and chief executive of the parent firm, Las Vegas Sands.
Hong Kong-listed Sands China reported yesterday a 52.3 per cent jump in fourth-quarter net income from a year earlier to US$467 million, as it welcomed a record 11 million visitors to its properties on the Cotai Strip.
Revenue grew 48.1 per cent to US$1.97 billion as the number of mass-market customers and high-rolling VIPs surged, a sign of an improving economy on the mainland, the source of most visitors to Macau's casinos.
Sands China's share price advanced 0.26 per cent to a record closing high of HK$39.10.
Driven by its Chinese subsidiary's strong performance, Las Vegas Sands' total revenue in the quarter rose 20.9 per cent from a year ago to US$3.08 billion.
The New York-listed company's largest market is Macau, where it is the No 2 player behind Stanley Ho Hung-sun's casino giant SJM.
Robert Goldstein, the president of global gaming operations at Las Vegas Sands, said the firm's Macau operations "should take [market] share" from rivals in the world's No 1 gaming hub.
"We've got the best products there to take share, because we have the most rooms, the most gaming space and … we're in a very fortunate position, having enormous exposure in Macau," Goldstein said.
In a research note, Deutsche Bank projected Sands China's share of the Macau gaming market to reach 23 per cent by next year.
Sands China's Cotai Strip properties have nearly 9,000 rooms combined. These include the Venetian Macao, Four Seasons Hotel Macau and Plaza Casino, and Sands Cotai Central. It also runs the 289-room Sands on the Macau peninsula.
The Macau government recently approved the addition of 200 gaming tables by the company. The firm's new US$2.5 billion Cotai Strip project, the Parisian resort complex, will open in 2015.