Macau casino resort operator Sands China Ltd continued to provide rent relief to mall tenants in 2021, “as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” but the aggregate amount was 80.9 percent lower than in 2020.
According to Sands China’s annual report, filed in Hong Kong on Thursday, what the firm termed “rent concessions” in 2021 amounted to US$41 million, compared to US$215 million in 2020.
The aggregate 2021 mall revenues – including fees linked to shop-revenue turnover – were up 75.8 percent year-on-year, to US$473 million, versus US$269 million in 2020.
Sands China said the performance improvement in its mall segment was “primarily due to a US$174-million reduction in rent concessions” granted to its mall tenants, “and an increase in turnover rents of US$61 million driven by increased sales primarily in the luxury segment.”
For full-year 2021, visitor arrivals to Macau rose 30.7 percent year-on-year, to nearly 7.71 million, according to official data.
Sands China said in an emailed statement, in response to GGRAsia’s inquiry about rent relief for mall tenants: “Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Sands China has been providing various measures of assistance for its tenants when feasible, to reduce their operating burden and help them navigate through this challenging time together.”
The casino operator is still providing such rent concessions, as disclosed recently by one of its tenants. Future Bright Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed firm with interests including restaurant operations, whose managing director is Chan Chak Mo, a Macau legislator, said in a Tuesday filing it had been able to amend certain conditions regarding a three-year deal it had, to run a Japanese restaurant at Sands China’s Londoner Macao resort.
Venetian Orient Ltd, a unit of Sands China, had from March 1 to June 30 last year, waived a monthly base fee aggregating to nearly HKD1.59 million (US$202,881) normally payable on the retail space by a Future Bright unit, Bright Gain Restaurant Co Ltd. The Future Bright entity had only been required to pay the previously-agreed turnover fee of 12 percent.
On Tuesday, Future Bright signed a deal to extend use of the unit at the Londoner Macao by six months, to October 31, with a monthly base fee of HKD297,660 – compared to the HKD396,880 monthly fee that had originally been payable – and a turnover fee of 15 percent from May 1, provided the annual turnover exceeds the annual base fee.
Sands China had nearly 2.07 million square feet (192,031 sq. metres) of mall space in Macau as of December 31, spread across malls in five properties, with 945,000 square feet of that at the Venetian Macao (pictured); the latter space shared between 320 shops and 56 dining outlets.
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