The chief executive of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd, Ambrose So Shu Fai (pictured), on Thursday said he thought it is still too early to judge if Macau’s gaming industry has bottomed out, even though year-on-year comparisons are easier in the second half.
Speaking to reporters after a shareholders’ meeting, Mr So said more time is needed to observe the performance of the industry in the next few months.
“The base in the second half is lower than in the first,” the CEO said. “The full-year gaming revenue could fall by 40 percent year-on-year based on the current estimates,” he added, quoted by Hong Kong newspaper the Standard.
Casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Macau has fallen for 12 consecutive months when judged year-on-year, and is down 37.1 percent year-on-year in the five months to May 31, according to government data.
In May, Mr So had said that while business in the mass-market gambling segment in Macau had improved slightly, that was not enough to offset the slump on the VIP side.
Fitch Ratings Inc estimates Macau’s GGR will decline by 29 percent in 2015 on top of a 3 percent decline in 2014.
Despite the decline in casino revenue, SJM Holdings’ chief executive said he does not expect the company to post a loss this year. Mr So added that he is confident that in the mid- to long-term the situation will improve with the opening of new transport infrastructure projects, such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.
In Thursday’s meeting, SJM Holdings’ shareholders approved a final dividend of HKD0.62 (US$0.08) per share for the year ended December 31, 2014.
SJM Holdings reported net profit of HKD6.73 billion for 2014, down by 12.7 percent year-on-year from approximately HKD7.71 billion a year earlier.
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