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Sands China CEO Grant Chum: $1.4 billion towards Londoner Phase 2 and Arena revamp

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Sands China is doubling down on its non-gaming investments, with newly elevated Grant Chum – the group’s President and CEO – saying it will lay-out some $1.4 billion on Londoner Phase 2 and the revamp of its Cotai Arena.

The Londoner Phase 2 alone was expected to cost some $1.2 billion and is ‘expected to be substantially completed in early 2025’ – according to its most recent results announcement.

In his first public interview since his promotion, Chum told CNBC International that non-gaming revenue for the group is already “well ahead of where we were in 2019”.

Grant Chum, President and CEO, Sands China
Grant Chum, President and CEO of Sands China, speaking to CNBC International

The executive was referring to the group’s 2023 results, in which it boasted some $1.69 billion in non-gaming net revenue, versus $658 million in 2022.

The figure was strongly boosted by a 313 percent yearly increase in Rooms net revenue, at $761 million, and Mall net revenue – up 44.9 percent to $513 million.

Convention, ferry, retail and other offerings’ net revenue also rose by 237.7 percent yearly in 2023, to $179 million.

Malls

The executive made particular mention of the group’s retail malls, of which there are four in Macau, noting that “retail sales […] reached $3.3 billion, about 12 percent ahead of the levels we reached in 2019”.
“You can see the power of the spending has been very strong, especially at Sands properties,” the CEO told the broadcaster.

Three of the four malls saw revenue increases of over 40 percent during the year – with Shoppes at Venetian being the highest contributor, at $227 million (up 47.4 percent yearly). The neighboring Shoppes at Four Seasons brought in some $187 million (up 47.2 percent yearly).

In comparison, Shoppes at Londoner brought in just $66 million (up 40.4 percent yearly), while Shoppes at Parisian made just $32 million in revenue (a 28 percent yearly rise).

Entertainment and MICE

The group’s CEO noted that Sands China has been “leading the way in investing in non-gaming”, stating that its “commitment stands at about $4.5 billion over the duration of the 10-year concession”.

Initially the group had pledged some MOP30.24 billion ($3.76 billion) in investment, of which MOP27.8 billion ($3.45 billion) was dedicated to non-gaming.

However, the rise in gross gaming revenues in 2023 triggered an extra 20 percent spend by operators on non-gaming.

A significant part of the group’s non-gaming income has been from MICE and F&B, with the revenue of the latter up 258.2 percent in 2023, to $240 million in 2023.

This highly trumps the revenue from Conventions, or MICE, which is lumped together in the reported results with ferry, retail and other revenues. These together totaled just $179.9 million (still a 237.7 percent rise – predictable given Macau’s opening-up in early 2023).

Despite the figure, the group is expanding its MICE facility, with an 18,000-square meter facility adjoining the current Cotai Expo – focused on ‘large-scale international events’

During the period, just $31 million was made in entertainment revenue, however Chum highlighted the 79 shows the group held last year and noted “we’re currently investing significant capital in upgrading our 15,000-seat arena at the Venetian”.

Kelsey Wilhelm
Kelsey Wilhelmhttps://agbrief.com
Kelsey Wilhelm is a broadcast, print journalist and editor based in Asia for over 15 years. Focused on content creation, management, cross-cultural exchange and interviews for multi-lingual productions. Writing focus on gaming, business, politics, culture and heritage, events and celebrities, subcultures, music, film, art and fashion. Some of Kelsey's specialties are: editing, writing, copy creation, multi-lingual content production, cross-cultural exchange, content creation and management for Asian markets.

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