Macau casino operator MGM China Holdings Ltd had a “record” market share in January, and its venues were the “highest-earning businesses” in the portfolio of the majority owner MGM Resorts International, said senior management on the parent’s fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday. That was understood to be a reference to share of gross gaming revenue (GGR).
Even before the January lift, MGM China had seen some improvement in the fourth-quarter in terms of a narrowing in the negative level of its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).
January’s jump in performance coincided with MGM China having “secured 200 additional tables as part of our new gaming concession” in the Macau market, said Bill Hornbuckle, chief executive and president of MGM Resorts, referring to its fresh 10-year gaming rights that started on January 1.
“The rebound was fairly instant. I think we peaked at Chinese New Year, making a little over US$5 million a day,” said Mr Hornbuckle, adding MGM China “mass volumes were 100 percent over our 19 levels”.
MGM China operates MGM Macau on the city’s peninsula, and MGM Cotai (pictured) in the city’s newer casino resort district.
“MGM China’s combined properties are the highest-earning businesses within our company,” stated Mr Hornbuckle, referring to operations in January. From early January, mainland China – a key market for Macau tourists – and Macau itself, relaxed Covid-19 controls.
“During the month of January our market share was 16 percent, which compares to high single-digit market shares pre-pandemic,” stated the MGM Resorts CEO.
Hubert Wang, president and chief operating officer (COO) of MGM China, said its 16 percent market share for January was a “record high” for the firm, relative to what Mr Hornbuckle had referred to as “high single-digit market shares pre-pandemic”.
Mr Wang stated: “Daily mass GGR was on par with 2019 levels for the month of January, and during Chinese New Year exceeded last year’s Chinese New Year.” In 2022 and in 2019, the lunar new year holiday period was in February.
Mr Wang also noted regarding the start of the current calendar year: “It is also very encouraging to see that the January [daily] run rate extended into the first week of February.”
MGM China 4Q results
MGM China reported fourth-quarter negative EBITDA of HKD402.1 million (US$51.2 million). That compared to a negative figure of HKD113.7 million a year earlier, but narrowed from an adjusted EBITDA loss of HKD535.5 million in the third quarter.
MGM China’s fourth-quarter net revenue was HKD1.37 billion, down 44.3 percent on the same quarter in 2021. The firm had reported revenue of HKD686.6 million for third-quarter 2022.
Casinos in Macau continued to operate in the fourth quarter in a low-revenue environment amid Covid-19 alerts and outbreaks either in Macau or mainland China.
MGM Macau generated adjusted EBITDA loss of HKD92.7 million in the three months to December 31, an improvement from negative EBITDA of HKD107.2 million a year ago. The Cotai property however saw its EBITDA loss widen from HKD6.4 million in fourth-quarter 2021 to HKD309.4 million in the same period of 2022.
MGM China’s full-year net revenue fell 44.0 percent year-on-year, to nearly HKD5.27 billion. MGM China’s adjusted EBITDA loss for full-2022 stood at HKD1.27 billion, versus a negative HKD187.2 million in the prior year.
The parent MGM Resorts said that as of December 31, the entire group had cash and cash equivalents of US$5.91 billion.
MGM Resorts recorded net income of US$284.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2022, up from a US$131.0-million profit in the prior-year quarter, on group-wide revenues that rose 17.5 percent year-on-year, to US$3.59 billion.
For full year, the company reported revenues of US$13.13 billion, and a group-wide profit of just above US$1.47 billion.
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Chief executive of Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority