Thursday, July 29, 2010

Marina Bay Sands made $128m in first 65 days

The Marina Bay Sands integrated resort has turned in a strong performance, generating US$94 million (S$128 million) in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in its first 65 days of operation, owner Las Vegas Sands said yesterday.

The US$5.7 billion resort fronting Marina Bay began operating in April.

Las Vegas Sands billionaire founder and chief executive Sheldon Adelson said during a conference call that he still expects the Singapore resort to bring in US$1 billion in EBITDA next year, due in part to a broader-than-expected customer base.

'There are so many people that are coming from different countries in Asia... We have a group of Koreans flying in every week,' he said. 'I think that the outer reaches of our marketing radius is wider than what we thought before.'

Mr Adelson also said in a statement: 'Both gaming volumes and visitation to the property have been robust' in Singapore. 'In Macau, we delivered an all-time quarterly record.'

Aided by the positive showing at the Singapore resort and in Macau, Las Vegas Sands yesterday posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Las Vegas Sands earned US$129.3 million, or 17 US cents a share, in the second quarter after adjusting for one-time items. Analysts on average expected 9 US cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Net revenue rose nearly 51 per cent to US$1.59 billion.

'With property performance better than our expectations in Macau and Singapore, and with the Las Vegas Strip weaker than expected, we believe Asia will be the key driver of the story, and the report is bullish for the shares,' said Jefferies and Co analyst David Katz.

Gambling revenue in Macau, the world's largest gambling centre and the only place in China where gambling is legal, has soared this year, most recently rising 65 per cent year-on-year last month.

Las Vegas Sands said second-quarter net revenue at its three Macau properties rose 41 per cent from that a year earlier to US$1.03 billion, while adjusted EBITDA increased 74 per cent to US$307 million.

In contrast, its Venetian and Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip reported that EBITDA fell 15 per cent to US$66 million, as the casinos won less at the tables.

The company has lined up financing for the development of two sites in a section of Macau known as the Cotai Strip, but construction has not yet started due to government requirements for the hiring of local workers.

After payment of preferred stock dividends, Las Vegas Sands had a second-quarter net loss of US$4.7 million, or 1 US cent a share, compared with a net loss of US$222.2 million, or 34 US cents a share, a year earlier.

Source : StraitTimes
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