Macau casino operator SJM Q3 net profit rises 10.3%

Tourists stand outside of the main entrance of the Casino Grand Lisboa, operated by SJM Holdings in Macau, China. SJM Holdings said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 10.3 per cent to HK$1.83 billion (S$294 million) versus HK$1.66 billi
Tourists stand outside of the main entrance of the Casino Grand Lisboa, operated by SJM Holdings in Macau, China. SJM Holdings said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 10.3 per cent to HK$1.83 billion (S$294 million) versus HK$1.66 billion a year earlier. -- PHOTO:BLOOMBERG

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 10.3 per cent to HK$1.83 billion (S$294 million) versus HK$1.66 billion a year earlier.

Gambling revenue in the former Portuguese enclave, an hour from Hong Kong by ferry, has continued to break records with October revenue coming in at HK$4.6 billion, the highest monthly figure on record.

Controlled by the family of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the sole player in Macau's lucrative gaming market for 40 years, SJM still retains - at 26 percent - the biggest market share despite the entry of foreign players like U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Sands China and Mr Steve Wynn's Wynn Macau.

Known for its flamboyant Grand Lisboa skyscraper, SJM is expanding its holdings with its Cotai project expected to open in 2017. SJM in August also signed an agreement with fashion house Versace for the development of a luxury five-star hotel.

Analysts expect SJM's market share to decline to 15-20 per cent in the next several years as new casinos on Cotai are likely to draw gamblers away from the Peninsula area where SJM dominates.

Shares in SJM slipped 1.2 per cent on Monday, but are up 41 per cent since the start of the year. Like its Macau gaming peers, SJM has continued to outperform the Hang Seng benchmark index, which is up 1.8 percent in the same period.