Profit at Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd rose 81 percent year-on-year in the first half to June 30. Such profit was HKD4.63 billion (US$591.7 million), compared to nearly HKD2.56 billion in the prior-year period, while revenue rose 11.8 percent to HKD28.54 billion, from HKD25.54 billion in the first half 2016.
No interim dividend was declared for the period. But Galaxy Entertainment said in its Thursday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that in the first half 2017 the firm returned capital to shareholders by paying a special dividend of HKD0.26 per share on April 28, a 73 percent increase compared to April 2016. Subsequently, the group had announced another special dividend of HKD0.33 per share to be paid on or about October 27, 2017, an 83-percent increase compared to October 2016.
The filing gave no commentary from the company regarding the reason for the first half 2017 profit improvement, but reprinted an open letter to the community and company staff from its chairman, Lui Che Woo, thanking them for their efforts in the clean-up operation following Typhoon Hato, which struck Macau on August 23.
The firm had received some criticism on social media regarding a document – circulating on social media – purportedly issued during the typhoon aftermath, that appeared to show a call for company volunteers to clean up the pool deck at Galaxy Macau – at a stage in the relief effort when many parts of downtown Macau were still suffering the after effects of flooding.
A company press conference originally scheduled for Wednesday to discuss the company’s interim results was cancelled “due to the unprecedented impact from Typhoon Hato,” the firm said. As of Wednesday night, many facilities at the company’s Broadway Macau property on Cotai were still closed to the public, GGRAsia noted following a visit to the area.
The group said that during the reporting period it had “experienced good luck in its gaming operations” which increased adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by approximately HKD20 million.
Galaxy Entertainment’s total gaming revenue in the first half of 2017 was HKD26.4 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year. Total mass table games revenue was HKD11.4 billion, up 15 percent year-on-year and total VIP revenue was HKD13.9 billion, up 5 percent year-on-year. Total electronic gaming revenue was HKD1.1 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year.
Banking group Morgan Stanley said in a Thursday note that Galaxy Entertainment’s first-half “EBITDA of HKD3.3 billion (+3 percent quarter-on-quarter, +45 percent year-on-year) came 2 percent above our estimates, but helped by construction material.” That was a reference to a non-gaming business of the group.
The firm’s flagship Cotai resort Galaxy Macau’s first-half revenue was HKD20.1 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year. The group said Galaxy Macau experienced “bad luck” in its gaming operations which decreased its adjusted EBITDA by approximately HKD30 million in first half 2017. Nonetheless, the property recorded adjusted EBITDA of HKD5.1 billion, up 29 percent from a year earlier, the casino operator said.
The property’s adjusted EBITDA margin for the six months to June 30 was 25 percent, compared to 21 percent in the prior-year period.
VIP rolling chip volume at Galaxy Macau for first half 2017 was HKD264.7 billion, up 8 percent year-on-year. This translated to VIP revenue of HKD9.9 billion, up 1 percent year-on-year.
StarWorld Macau’s revenue for the six months to June 30 was HKD6.7 billion, up 20 percent year-on-year. Adjusted EBITDA was HKD1.4 billion, up 45 percent year-on-year.
The company said StarWorld Macau experienced good luck in its gaming operations which increased its adjusted EBITDA by approximately HKD60 million in first half 2017. The property’s adjusted EBITDA margin for first half was 21 percent, compared to 17 percent in first half 2016.
StarWorld Macau’s VIP rolling chip volume for first half 2017 was HKD125.8 billion, up 19 percent year-on-year. This translated to VIP revenue of HKD3.8 billion, up 22 percent year-on-year, said the firm.
Broadway Macau’s first-half revenue was down 25.1 percent, at HKD262 million, compared to HKD350 million in the prior-year period.
The firm said the property also experienced “bad luck” in its gaming operations. Broadway Macau saw adjusted EBITDA fall 22.2 percent, to HKD7 million, compared to HKD9 million in the prior-year period.
Broadway Macau – which does not offer VIP gambling – recorded mass gaming revenue of HKD139 million.
The group’s third-party managed City Clubs saw their contribution of adjusted EBITDA to group earnings fall 12.5 percent, to HKD49 million, compared to HKD56 million in first half 2017.
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”We have not had discussions about the concession renewal with the [Macau] government. We have taken the view that if we continue to deliver on what we expect is the expectations from operators, then we will be treated fairly”
Chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China