Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Limited has released its unaudited consolidated interim financial results for the first six months of 2017 showing a 1.9% decrease year-on-year in net revenues to $2.64 billion.

One of only six concessionaires authorized to operate casino games in Macau, SJM Holdings Limited is directly responsible for 19 of the over 30 gambling properties in the former Portuguese enclave including Casino Oceanus at Jai Alai, Grand Lisboa Macau, Babylon Casino, L’Arc Macau and Casino Golden Dragon. But this dominance is under threat following last year’s opening by Wynn Macau Limited of its Wynn Palace Cotai along with September’s premiere by Las Vegas Sands Corporation subordinate Sands China Limited of its The Parisian Macao development.

Hong Kong-listed SJM Holdings Limited declared that overall gaming revenues for the six months to the end of June fell by 2% year-on-year to $2.61 billion due to an associated 0.5% diminution in mass-market table game takings along with a 3.4% decline in VIP gaming revenues while slot earnings lessened by 3.2%.

Adding to the bad news, SJM Holdings Limited explained that its half-year adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization dropped by 7.7% year-on-year to of $192.88 million with its margin falling by an average of 0.5 percentage points to 7.3%.

“During the first half of 2017, Macau’s total gaming revenues increased by 17.2% over the corresponding period in 2016,” read a Tuesday statement from SJM Holdings Limited. “Two large casino resorts were opened in the Cotai area of Macau by competitors in the second half of 2016. According to figures from the Macau Government Statistics and Census Service, visitation to Macau increased by 5.4% to 15.6 million of which visitors from the mainland increased by 6.1% to 10.3 million or 66.4% of the total.”

All of this left the operator with a six-month profit of $122.14 million, which was some 12.9% lower when compared with the same period in 2016, while its earnings per share diminished by an identical percentage to stand at just over two cents.

“The group’s performance in the second half of 2017 will remain susceptible to the overall economic performance of the surrounding region, government regulatory policies and the level of visitation to Macau as well as to the competitive situation among the casino operators in Macau,” read the statement from SJM Holdings Limited. “During this period, the group is committed to maintaining its strength in both the mass-market and VIP gaming segments while striving to improve its operating efficiency. The group is optimistic regarding its performance for the rest of the year.”

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