Gaming operator SJM Holdings said on Thursday that while it has been “severely impacted” by the COVID-19 outbreak and Macao’s ongoing restrictions on entry from the mainland, Hong Kong and other places, as well as the curtailment of transportation channels and quarantine requirements, it has seen “the beginnings of recovery in visitation, hotel occupancy and visitor spending.”
The company founded by late gaming magnate Stanley Ho Hung Sun made the remarks in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange about its unaudited third-quarter results.
According to the statement, the net gaming revenue of the company and its subsidiaries dropped by 89.6 per cent year-on-year to HK$841 million in the third quarter. In the first nine months of the year, net gaming revenue fell by 79.4 per cent year-on-year to HK$5.1 billion.
Adjusted EBITDA in the third quarter was a negative HK$782 million, a decrease of 182.3 per cent year-on-year. In the first three quarters of the year, adjusted EBITDA was a negative HK$1.76 billion, a year-on-year drop of 158.3 per cent.
The statement noted that the loss attributed to the owners of the company amounted to HK$1.03 billion in the third quarter, as compared with a profit of HK$738 million in the same quarter of last year.
As of 30 September, SJM and its subsidiaries had HK$5.9 billion of cash, bank balances and pledged bank deposits as well as HK$16.7 billion of debt, apart from a revolving credit facility of HK$10 billion, of which HK$8.5 billion had been undrawn as of 30 September.
The statement said SJM “anticipates” opening its Grand Lisboa Palace casino-hotel property in Cotai during the first quarter of next year.
According to the statement, SJM had four self-promoted casinos and 15 third-party-promoted “satellite” casinos operation in the third quarter.
The statement noted that in the third quarter the occupancy rate of its flagship Grand Lisboa Hotel was 5.3 per cent with an average room rate of HK$1,695 per night, as compared with an average occupancy rate of 91.3 per cent and average room rate of HK$1,516 per night in the same quarter of 2019.
The statement quoted SJM Holdings Vice Chairman and CEO Ambrose So Shu Fai as saying: “We firmly believe that the unique attractions of Macao, combined with the successful responses to this year’s challenges by the Macao Special Administrative Region and Central People’s Government, will fuel Macao’s resumed development into a global centre of tourism and leisure.”