Sands China posts 18.5 per cent fall in 4th quarter earnings; Sheldon Adelson says Macau environment stays challenging

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 January, 2016, 8:26pm

Billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson said Macau’s operating environment remained challenging in the fourth quarter of 2015 but showed signs of stabilising as Sands China announced an 18.5 per cent drop in its fourth-quarter earnings.

Sands China posted adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to US$581.2 million in the fourth quarter, according to the company’s statement. This compared to US$713.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Net income for Sands China decreased 29.3 per cent to US$378.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to US$535.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“The operating environment in Macao remained challenging during the quarter,” Adelson said in the result statement but stabilisation in gaming revenue trends appears underway.

Macau is facing headwinds due to China’s crackdown on corruption. The gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the Macau gaming sector fell by 27 per cent year on year for the fourth quarter to MOP54.8 billion, up one per cent quarter on quarter, according to Daiwa Capital Markets.

Sands China has seen its share price close up 6.72 per cent yesterday to HK$26.2 but its share prices have dropped about 26 per cent compared with 12 months ago.

Goldman Sachs said in a report that the results met its expectations and revised up its 2016-2018 EBITDA by around two to three per cent and the target price was raised to HK$29 from HK$28.5.

Sands China said its gross revenue from tenants in the company’s retail malls on Cotai (The Venetian Macao, Four Seasons Macao and Sands Cotai Central) and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore was US$159.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2015.

This represented a decrease of 8.2 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2014. Operating profit derived from these retail mall assets fell 8.6 per cent year-over-year to US$143.8 million. Sands China is a subsidiary of Las Vegas Sands Corp.