Sands China Ltd, a premium Macau casino operator, announced that the company fully recovered from the Covid-19-related circumstances as its gaming volumes seen during the current Chinese New Year holiday period recorded the highest levels in the last three years.
More than breakeven:
Commenting on the rapid recovery rate following the re-opening of Sands China’s Macau resorts on January 8, Robert Goldstein, Chairman and CEO of the operator’s parent company Las Vegas Sands, stated: “We’re more than breakeven and into very positive territory, ” and added: ”In terms of break-even, I don’t think that’s even a consideration anymore. I think we’re way past it.”
High visitor count:
According to Inside Asian Gaming, these comments are welcome for investors as the long-awaited positive signals after three years of uncertainty and border closures incurring heavy losses. The same source reported that visits to Macau have been constantly rising since re-opening to reach 90,000 on Tuesday in the middle of the Chinese New Year holiday marking the highest daily count in the last three years, although still below the 2019 level.
GGR exceeding the visitor-based expectations:
However, Sands China unveiled that revenue recovery has exceeded the parameters based on the visitor count. “The thing that we’re seeing right now is that the quality of patronage is very high across all segments,” said Sands China COO and Executive Director, Grant Chum. “We are seeing a very strong recovery. If you look at visitation numbers to Macau, we are currently running at about 40% of where we were in the 2019 Chinese New Year but our revenues and volumes are outperforming that visitation recovery.”
Chum continued: “So I wouldn’t get too stuck on the visitation recovery. In these types of reopening we are going to see the premium customers coming back first, so what we’re seeing is the quality of revenues and patronage has been very, very high and we are way outperforming the visitation recovery in terms of volume and revenue. And If you look at property visitations, our recovery rate in terms of visitation to our own (Sands) properties is far outperforming recovery in the overall visitation numbers in the market.”
Resilience and liquidity expected to continue:
The Las Vegas Sands President, Goldstein, added that the soaring numbers arise from table and slot game occupancy having been close to 100% these days. “Noone ever questioned the power of the base mass market and I would remind you that base mass in Macau at our properties starts at HK$1,500 (US$190) per hand. That’s a big bet but the problem we’ve got now is you can’t get a seat at those games. We’re running at 95% to 100% occupancy in those games and it’s the same on slots and ETGs,” said Goldstein, and added:
“The big question that we’re thinking about is premium mass and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when the numbers come out. You’ll see resilience and liquidity in that segment as well. We are in very positive territory.”