SJM H1 gaming revenue falls as VIP drags

SJM Grand Lisboa
SJM Grand Lisboa

SJM Holdings reported a 0.7 percent decline in H1 gaming revenue, as growth in the mass market failed to offset a 25 percent drop in VIP revenue.

Total gaming revenue was HK$16.72 billion ($2.1 billion), while total revenue also declined 0.7 percent to $17.07 billion, compared with $17.19 billion a year ago, SJM said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Adjusted EBITDA gained 6.1 percent to $2.07 billion, while net profit was up 12.1 percent to $1.67 billion. 

“We are pleased that our results for the first half of the year showed decent increases in Adjusted EBITDA and Net Profit, while construction of our Grand Lisboa Palace project nears completion,” said Dr. Ambrose So, vice-Chairman and CEO. “Our Board has voted to declare an interim dividend of HK8 cents per share.” 

The group said it had a 14.1 percent share of Macau’s total gaming revenue, with 18.2 percent of mass down from 20.2 percent and 10.7 percent of VIP, down from 12.2 percent last year.

VIP gaming operations accounted for 36.5 percent of the group’s total gross gaming revenue in compared to 45.2 percent a year ago. As at 30 June 2019, it was operating 295 VIP gaming tables in operation with 17 VIP promoters, as compared with 287 VIP gaming tables and 19 VIP promoters as at 31 December 2018.

In the mass market, it had 1,502 gaming tables compared with 1,425 mass market gaming tables as at 31 December 2018.

SJM is the only one of the six concessionaires not to have already opened a property on the Cotai Strip. Its Grand Lisboa Palace has been beset by delays and speculation that it would not be completed until early next year and ready to open its doors until summer sent its share price tumbling last Friday and on Monday.

In its earnings release, SJM said only that it’s “striving” for completion this year and will seek the relevant permits required to open shortly thereafter. 

It also indicated the project will cost more than earlier anticipated.

It now estimates a total project cost of approximately $39 billion ($4.9 billion), up 8 percent from an earlier estimate, originally made in 2016, and incorporates increased costs related to the project’s revised completion date.

The group’s flagship Casino Grand Lisboa saw a 13.7 percent decline in gross gaming revenue while adjusted EBITDA and attributable profit increased by 8.5 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, as compared with the year-earlier period.

The occupancy rate of Hotel Grand Lisboa decreased by 1.5 percent from the year-earlier period to 94.8 percent, while the average daily room rate decreased during the period by 1.1 percent to HK$1,487.