Sands China sees profits rise on back of China’s gamblers


Sat, Nov 03, 2012 - Page 14

Sands China Ltd (金沙中國), the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, posted a 17 percent climb in third-quarter profits as spending by middle-class Chinese gamblers boosted earnings.

Net income for the China unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp rose to US$326.7 million from US$278.3 million a year ago, according to a statement from the parent company yesterday. Net revenue jumped 37 percent to US$1.64 billion as the Macau operator benefited from its newest resort, Sands Cotai Central, that opened in April.

“Earnings growth came from the ramp-up of Sands Cotai Central and Venetian winning back mass market share,” Karen Tang, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Deutsche Bank, wrote in a research note to clients.

Sands China’s market share will likely expand to 23 percent by 2014, from 19 percent in the third quarter this year, she said.

Sands China has joined rivals such as Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd in expanding on Macau’s increasingly popular Cotai strip to reach more middle-class Chinese tourists in the world’s largest gambling hub. Macau casino revenue rose 3.2 percent to reach a record last month as promotions over the eight-day Golden Week holiday attracted tourists.

Middle-class Chinese tourists, who make up the bulk of Macau’s so-called mass market, have helped shore up growth even as high-stake bettors have cut back in a weaker economy.

Adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, increased 24 percent to US$485.6 million