Macau legacy gaming operator SJM has announced that it recorded a 53 percent increase in gross gaming revenue, to HKD3.88 billion ($495 million), while narrowing its loss by some 32.2 percent, to HKD869 million ($110.86 million), in the first quarter of the year.

The group registered total revenue of HK$4 billion ($510.3 million), up 57.6 percent, while adjusted EBITDA returned to the black, at HK$31 million ($3.95 million), compared to a loss of $474 million ($60.47 million) in 1Q22.

Both mass market and slot machine revenue during the period registered double-digit upticks, while VIP GGR was down by 41.6 percent yearly, to HK$201 million ($25.64 million) – less than its non-gaming revenue.

Mass market GGR was HK$3.43 billion ($437.58 million), up 67 percent annually, while slot machine revenue totaled HK$252 million ($32.14 million), up 81.3 percent yearly.

Grand Lisboa Palace lagging

The group’s flagship property in Cotai, the Grand Lisboa Palace, delivered less than a third of the GGR it registered from its Macau peninsula property, Grand Lisboa.

Grand Lisboa Palace, SJM
Grand Lisboa Palace, SJM Resorts

GGR at Grand Lisboa Palace totaled HKD310 million ($39.54 million) – up 98.7 percent yearly, with HKD181 million ($23.09 million) from mass – up 28.4 percent.

VIP revenues were just HK$89 million, a little over double the slot revenue of HK$40 million ($5.1 million) – up 166.7 percent yearly.

Rolling chip volume was HK$4.07 billion ($519.24 million), while non-rolling was HK$1.33 billion ($169.67 million) – up 47.8 percent yearly.

The group’s Macau property performed significantly better, despite a 64.6 percent drop in VIP gaming revenues, to HK$85 million ($10.84 million).

Mass market was up 177.3 percent, to HK$746 million ($95.17 million), with slots contributing HK$97 million ($12.37 million), up 131 percent yearly.

The figures drove a 68.4 percent increase in GGR for the property, to HK$928 million ($118.39 million).

Rolling chip at the Palace totaled HK$3.94 during the quarter ($502.65 million), down 30 percent yearly, while non-rolling was up 237 percent, to HK$4.09 billion ($521.79 million).

Self-promoted and satellite casinos

The group’s other self-promoted casinos brought in HK$941 million ($120 million) in revenue during the period, up 167 percent yearly, with mass totaling HK$866 million ($110.48 million), – up 176.7 percent, and slots up 92.3 percent to HK$75 million ($9.56 million).

The group’s self-promoted casinos encompass Casino Lisboa, Casino Oceanus at Jai Alai, and its share in Ponte 16 .

Non-rolling volume was up 154 percent, to HK$5.92 billion ($755.25 million).

Regarding the group’s satellite casino revenues, while gross gaming revenue was up by 5.3 percent – to HK$1.7 billion ($216.8 million), VIP fell by 74 percent yearly, to HK$27 million ($3.44 million), while mass totaled HK$1.64 billion ($208.23 million) – up 23 percent.

Satellite slot revenue was down 7 percent, to HK$40 million ($5.1 million).

The group operates nine satellite casinos.

Adjusted property EBITDA

Adjusted property EBITDA for the group returned positive figures in the quarter, to HK$83 million ($10.58 million) – from a loss of HK$411 million ($52.43 million) in 1Q22.

Grand Lisboa Palace furthered its AEBTIDA loss, rising to HK$230 million ($29.34 million), while Grand Lisboa reversed its loss from HK$216 million ($27.55 million) in 1Q22 to a positive figure of HK$156 million ($19.9 million).

Adjusted property EBITDA for its self-promoted casinos also emerged from the red, totaling HK$262 million ($33.42 million), while its satellite casino operations returned to loss – at HK$105 million ($13.39 million).

Overall hotel occupancy improved dramatically during the quarter – with its Cotai property seeing 83.7 percent (up from 39.9 percent), while its Macau property rose to 85.3 percent (from 52.4 percent).

The lower-market Jai Alai property saw the highest occupancy, at 92.6 percent (from 60.9 percent), while Sofitel at Ponte 16 registered 84.5 percent (from 44.4 percent).

Chairman statement

Daisy Ho, SJM Holdings, Macau
Daisy Ho, CEO, SJM Holdings

Speaking of the results, SJM Holdings Chairman Daisy Ho noted that “In the first quarter of 2023, after several years facing challenges caused by the pandemic, SJM has turned an important corner by returning to positive Adjusted EBITDA. Our revenues from both gaming and non-gaming activities showed important gains during the quarter, and we expect that our team’s efforts will pay off further in future, especially as our Grand Lisboa Palace Resort with all of its features ramps up into a growing market. Indeed, as early results for the second quarter of 2023 indicate, we are justifiably optimistic about the future of SJM and of Macau.”