Losses widen at Las Vegas Sands

30th Oct 2009
Losses widen at Las Vegas Sands

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. has announced increased losses for Q3 as gambling markets continued to struggle and the company pressed ahead on developing a resort in Singapore. The company made a loss of $123m (£74m) during the period, almost four times the $32.2m loss it made a year earlier.

The company which is led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson believes its income was damaged by increased income taxes, which cost the company $73.7 million.

Despite the loss, overall revenue rose by 3.2%, to $1.14bn, helped by strong spending by gamblers at the company’s Macau casinos in China. Sands owns three resorts there, with the addition of a new casino in Bethlehem, Pa.

US punters made fewer wagers, where revenues in the company’s two resorts on the Las Vegas Strip fell to $99 million from $113.2 million a year earlier.

Food and beverage, hotel rooms and retail all suffered, while the company’s overall expenses rose slightly.

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Adelson stated, “We are pleased to report that our properties in Macau delivered a record performance in adjusted property EBITDAR, led by healthy gaming volumes in combination with the consistent execution of our right-sizing and cost savings programs. These efforts resulted in record adjusted property EBITDAR margin at The Venetian Macao of 30.5%, compared to 26.0% in the prior year quarter, and meaningfully improved EBITDAR margin at Sands Macao of 27.5%, compared to 17.1% during the third quarter of last year.

“While our current quarter’s results in Las Vegas reflected unusually low table games hold, which negatively impacted our revenues by approximately $40 million, the execution of our cost savings programs has positioned us to deliver improved operating margins and cash flows as the economy recovers. In addition, we just completed the best quarter in our history with respect to future group room night bookings, and today we have more group rooms on the books for 2010 than we expect to realize in calendar year 2009.

“We remain focused on our de-leveraging strategy and during the quarter we increased our financial flexibility by completing both an amendment of our Macau credit facilities and a $600 million pre-IPO exchangeable bond financing. We also filed an application for a listing of our Macau operations on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.


“In Singapore, we continue to progress on the development of Marina Bay Sands. After topping off the three 55-story hotel towers in July, we are making progress on the installation of the SkyPark, which is the final major structural feature of the property. We are making steady progress on pre-opening activities for each of the major operational areas of the property and remain focused on opening Marina Bay Sands in the first quarter of 2010.”

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