The firm behind the iconic Casino Grand Lisboa, SJM Holdings Limited additionally saw its first-half adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization fall by 27.8% year-on-year to $210.14 million, which was short of analysts’ previous estimates of around $219.16 million, while its net profit for the six-month period dropped by 38.7% to $141.42 million.
SJM Holdings Limited additionally declared that its VIP gaming revenues for the initial six months of 2016 had decreased by 28.5% year-on-year to $1.31 billion while business at its mass-market tables went down by 11.5% also to $1.31 billion.
The drop is being seen as affirmation that players are choosing to spend their cash at casinos in the newly fashionable Cotai district over the more traditional venues of the Macau Peninsula.
“SJM Holdings Limited is seeing its market share shrinking as Cotai is becoming a top destination for tourists instead of the Macau Peninsula where SJM Holding Limited’s casino and hotel operations are currently located,” UOB Kay Hian analyst Hannah Li told the South China Morning Post newspaper. “In addition, its flagship VIP room business is likely to be hammered by tightening regulations on junket operations.”
The casino operator is due to open its $3.86 billion Grand Lisboa Palace venue in the Cotai district during the second half of next year where the 2,000-room development will sit in direct competition with venues such as Melco Crown Entertainment’s Studio City resort and The Venetian Macao luxury hotel and casino from Sands China Limited. Set to consist of a trio of five-star hotels including one designed by German fashion guru Karl Lagerfeld, the venue could additionally offer up to 500 gaming tables.
“The group’s performance in the second half of 2016 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 a statement from SJM Holdings Limited issued to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. “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.”
In May, the casino operator owned by Hong Kong business magnate Stanley Ho and his family reported a 44.1% deterioration year-on-year in its first-quarter net profit to $72.32 million while its adjusted three-month earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization waned by 32.5% to $108 million.