Former Macau lawmaker David Chow Kam Fai (pictured in a file photo) ceased to be chief executive of Macau-based casino services company Macau Legend Development Ltd with effect from Thursday.
He has been replaced in that role by his wife Melinda Chan Mei Yi, said a filing that day to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ms Chan is also a former Macau lawmaker.
Mr Chow remains an executive director and co-chairman of the board. The change would allow him to “focus on the overall business strategic and policy development of the group,” said that filing.
A separate press release cited Mr Chow as saying that “looking ahead” to the rest of 2020, “the effects of the coronavirus disease… had slowed down the positive-trending” results of the group.
Macau Legend runs gaming at three Macau venues: Legend Palace Casino, Babylon Casino and Landmark Casino, under so-called service agreements with an existing Macau casino operator, namely SJM Holdings Ltd. Macau Legend also controls and runs gaming at Savan Legend Casino in Laos, in Southeast Asia.
The news of Mr Chow stepping down as CEO came the same day that Macau Legend reported it had swung to a HKD172.4-million (US$22.2-million) loss for the year to December 31, on revenue that actually rose 26.5 percent. Such revenue was just under HKD2.36 billion, from just under HKD1.87 billion a year earlier.
The 2018 annual results had however been boosted by a HKD3.43-billion gain on disposal of a subsidiary – the Landmark Macau hotel – on Macau peninsula.
Total group gaming revenue for 2019 rose 39.8 percent, to just under HKD1.90 billion, from nearly HKD1.36 billion a year before.
“The significant increase in gaming revenue was mainly due to solid results contributed from a maturing development in Legend Palace Casino and strong performance in VIP sector,” said the firm in commentary in its annual results.
As of December 31, the group had a total of 194 gaming tables in Macau – the same as in December 2018 – with 194 in operation compared to 177 in operation in December 2018. In Laos, the group had 55 operating gaming tables, compared to 66 in December 2018.
The group’s 2019 adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were approximately HKD365.8 million, representing an increase of approximately HKD6.0 million or approximately 1.7 percent over the prior year.
On Thursday it was also announced that Mr Chow’s mother, Lam Fong Ngo was retiring as a Macau Legend director, being of “advanced age”.
According to an April 2019 filing, Ms Lam was at that time 91.
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”China has been strengthening the control over capital flow, and the impact of that has already been reflected [on Macau’s gaming revenue trend]. There should not be any bigger impact from the new… legislation [on the mainland] … on the gaming revenue trend here”
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President of Macau casino operator Sands China