The board of directors of Macau casino concessionaire, Sands China Ltd. (HKEx:1928) announced poll results from ordinary resolutions proposed at the annual general meeting held on Friday May 27, 2016. There were no surprises on any of the items polled, and only 3 of the 7 queries resulted in more than 1 percent opposition.
Two audit questions and the declaration of a final dividend for 2015 of HK$1.00 (US$0.129) per share received 100 percent affirmation. The re-election of Dr. Wilfred Wong Ying Wai as executive director was affirmed with a little over 2.5 percent opposing. Mr. Wong became president and chief operating officer on November 1, 2015. The remainder of re-elections, including non-executive and independent non-executive directorships received more than 99 percent approval.
The company experienced a drop in revenues of nearly 29 percent year on year as well as a decline in income for the same period in 2015 of about 43 percent, down to less than US$1.5 billion. The fall representing the overall market decline, rather than anything specific to Sands China.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review Journal, owned by co-executive director, Sheldon Adelson, Morgan Stanley analysts have attributed some of the company’s missed Q1 2016 earnings estimates to US$22 million in bad debt. According to the report the company has increased the proportion of VIP players it lends to directly with the decline in junket operators. Daiwa estimates the total junket industry debt in Macau to be between HK$30 billion-HK$60 billion (US$3.9 billion to US$7.7 billion).
Debt older than 90 days, held by the six SAR concessionaires (Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Crown, MGM China, Sands China, SJM Holdings, and Wynn Macau) doubled in 2015 and is currently expanding at a rate of about 30 percent y-o-y.
Although earning estimates for the company missed their mark, the announced dividend to shareholders was within a scant fraction of a penny of the interim dividend of HKD0.99 (US$0.127) per share announced by the board in late January, almost 3 months after Mr. Wong began his directorial duties.
“Sands China is pleased to announce the payment of a final dividend of HKD1 per share and to be able to reward our shareholders for their ongoing support and commitment,” said Mr Wong, according to a report on GGRAsia.
He added, “Despite the challenges in the Macau market, we again delivered a strong set of financial results, while meaningfully contributing to Macau’s diversification and long-term development objectives as Asia’s leading business and leisure tourism destination.”