1Q Results Encouraging, Non-Gaming to Boost Traffic: SJM Boss
1Q Results Encouraging, Non-Gaming to Boost Traffic: SJM Boss. Daisy Ho Chiu Fung, chairman of SJM Holdings Ltd, says the firm’s first-quarter results were “a very encouraging mark” for the Macau casino operator, as its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) turned positive.
Ms. Ho added she expected non-gaming elements promoted by SJM Holdings – including an upcoming Palace of Versailles-themed virtual exhibition at the firm’s Grand Lisboa Palace property on Cotai – would help boost visitor numbers to Macau, particularly during the second half of the year.
SJM Holdings’ EBITDA for the first quarter “outperformed market expectations,” and “turned positive,” Ms Ho noted on Monday in comments to the television service of local public broadcaster TDM. But she admitted the firm’s performance was “still lagging behind” its competitors during the initial three months of 2023.
First-quarter 2023 adjusted EBITDA stood at HKD31 million, compared with a negative figure of HKD474 million in the same period a year earlier, SJM Holdings said in unaudited highlights filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange last week.
Ms. Ho also highlighted SJM Holdings’ performance in the first quarter regarding mass market table gaming and slot machine play. The firm’s mass-market gross gaming revenue (GGR) – excluding slot machines – was just under HKD3.44 billion, an increase of 67.0 percent year-on-year. Slot GGR was HKD252 million, up 81.3 percent from the prior-year period.
She added: “Our team is working very hard to go beyond that, trying to excel and achieve much better results in the coming months and coming years.”
The boss of SJM Holdings was talking on the sidelines of a launch ceremony (pictured) for the SJM teams that will participate in the 2023 SJM Macao International Dragon Boat Races, which take place in June. The city’s Sports Bureau is organizing this year’s event in partnership with SJM Holdings, a first.
Discussing the involvement of the casino operator in high-profile sports events in Macau, Ms. Ho explained it was part of the firm’s investment in non-gaming activities in Macau.
“We are positive about all our non-gaming elements bringing in increased visitation,” she said.
“Especially between June and December this year, we have many different events, which we are positive will bring in many different visitors from all around, or at least Southeast Asia and mainland China,” Ms. Ho added.
In addition to the dragon boat races competition, Ms. Ho mentioned a martial arts event, the Macau Golf Open, and a stop at the Chinese Tennis Association Tour.
It was announced in March that SJM Resorts Ltd, a subsidiary of SJM Holdings, was to become the title sponsor of the Macao Golf Open for the next three years. The tournament’s last edition had been in 2017.
SJM Holdings had already said in December last year it planned to revive the Macao Open, as part of its pledge to invest MOP14.03 billion (US$1.74 billion) in Macau over the course of its new 10-year license. Of that amount, SJM Holdings has said it will invest MOP12.0 billion in exploring overseas tourism markets and developing non-gaming projects.
In arts and culture, the firm said will host the “Virtual Versailles” exhibition, in support of the government-backed “Art Macau” festival, said Ms Ho. The latter is a Macau government initiative featuring art-related and cultural events, first launched in 2019.
“Virtual Versailles” will be “something very unique, aligned with our Karl Lagerfeld hotel”, said Mr. Ho, commenting on the exhibition and its link to a hotel at Grand Lisboa Palace designed by the late France-based fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. “It will definitely bring a lot of visitor interest.”
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