Profit at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd fell 54.1 percent year-on-year in the first half, the firm said in a filing on Wednesday to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The profit for the six months to June 30 was approximately HKD1.79 billion (US$230.9 million), compared to approximately HKD3.90 billion in the year-prior period.
The firm’s board authorised an interim dividend of HKD0.10 per ordinary share for the reporting period. It is likely to be paid on September 16, to shareholders registered as of September 4. In the prior-year period, SJM paid a dividend of HKD0.22 per ordinary share.
In the first six months of this year, the group’s gaming revenue fell 40.3 percent year-on-year to approximately HKD26.32 billion, compared to approximately HKD44.11 billion a year earlier. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) slipped 49.1 percent to approximately HKD2.26 billion, from HKD4.44 billion in the prior-year period.
The group’s adjusted EBITDA margin – on a Hong Kong generally accepted accounting principles basis – decreased to 8.5 percent from 10.0 percent.
The group’s flagship gaming property Casino Grand Lisboa (pictured) saw revenue fall 43.5 percent during the first half, while adjusted property EBITDA went down 49.6 percent and attributable profit from the venue fell 53.3 percent.
The occupancy rate at Hotel Grand Lisboa decreased by 15.2 percent from the year-earlier period, to 80.1 percent. The average daily room rate increased during the period by 2.3 percent, to HKD2,399.
SJM Holdings said the group had maintained “a strong financial position” in the first half, with cash, bank balances and pledged bank deposits of nearly HKD22.83 billion as of June 30.
The firm additionally said in its filing it was making “good progress” on Lisboa Palace, its new casino resort in the Cotai district of Macau. In February the firm had described the scheme as a HKD30-billion project.
“Foundation work was essentially completed by the first quarter of 2015, so that construction on the superstructure and basement levels is now well under way,” SJM Holdings said on Wednesday.
Ambrose So Shu Fai, chief executive of SJM Holdings, said in a press statement from the firm following the filing of its results: “While challenging conditions persisted throughout the first half of the year, SJM has focused on enhancing customer service and controlling costs to the extent possible. We remain optimistic about the future of the Macau market, and we are proceeding with construction of the Lisboa Palace integrated resort on Cotai, on which substantial progress has been made and we are on target for completion in 2017.”
SJM Holdings said that during the first half it had a 22.3 percent share of Macau’s gaming revenue, including 25.5 percent of mass market table gaming revenue and 21.2 percent of VIP gaming revenue.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China