High rollers lift Q3 profit at Marina Bay Sands

Total gaming revenues at Marina Bay Sands resort rose 6.3 per cent to US$629 million. Non-gaming segments mostly fell for the quarter.
Total gaming revenues at Marina Bay Sands resort rose 6.3 per cent to US$629 million. Non-gaming segments mostly fell for the quarter.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Casino business helps offset poorer hotel, F&B performance

Stronger gaming turnover from high rollers and "continued cost discipline" helped boost third-quarter earnings at the Marina Bay Sands resort. Total revenues rose 4.1 per cent to US$793 million (S$1 billion) for the three months to Sept 30 while ebitda - a measure of operating profit - was up 13 per cent to US$442 million, parent company Las Vegas Sands said yesterday.

This was due to stronger contributions from the casino business - which accounts for the bulk of revenue. That helped offset a poorer performance from its hotel rooms and food and beverage segments.

Total gaming revenues rose 6.3 per cent to US$629 million. VIP gaming revenue, which accounted for over 40 per cent of the total gaming turnover, jumped 30 per cent to US$9.44 billion. Mass table revenue, which comprised nearly 40 per cent of the total gaming turnover, fell 4.3 per cent to US$943 million. Slot machines, which accounted for about 20 per cent of the total gaming revenue, gained 5.8 per cent to US$3.66 billion in the quarter.

"The only disappointing part about the MBS is the lack of growth in the non-rolling slot electronic table game segment," said Mr Robert Goldstein, Las Vegas Sands president and chief operating officer.

"But I think it speaks to our team over there running this exemplary building that we've driven this kind of a ebitda, out of a market that's not really growing that much."

While VIP gaming volumes sustained their growth momentum, the mass market volume remained tepid, said UOB KayHian analyst Vincent Khoo, who maintained a market weight call on the sector. "MBS' strong growth in VIP gaming volume only modestly lifts our industry outlook, given rival Genting Singapore's circumspect stand on credit policy. Meanwhile, the mass market segment has yet to see a new catalyst... We continue to expect an unexciting low single-digit industry volume growth this year."

  •  AT A GLANCE
        
    Revenue: US$793M (+4.1%)

    Ebitda: US$442M (+13%)

MBS' non-gaming segments mostly fell for the quarter. Hotel room turnover shed 14.7 per cent to US$93 million, while food and beverage sales lost 11.1 per cent to US$48 million. Mall turnover was flat at US$42 million. The average daily room rate fell to US$445 in the third quarter from US$475 in the same period last year. Hotel occupancy dipped to 96.6 per cent in the third quarter, resulting in revenue per available room falling from US$467 a year earlier to US$430.

Positive sentiment over MBS' VIP gaming revenues sent Genting Singapore stock up five cents or 4.2 per cent to $1.25 yesterday.

The operator of Resorts World Sentosa releases its third-quarter results on Nov 6 after market closes.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2017, with the headline 'High rollers lift Q3 profit at Marina Bay Sands'. Print Edition | Subscribe