MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren told journalists that gaming is on its way back in Las Vegas during a call following the firm’s annual full year results release. MGM Resorts International narrowed its losses in the last year and saw impressive growth in Q4 2011 to boot. Losses for the multi-national firm decreased to $113.7million in 2011 when they had been as high as $139.2m in the previous year. Net revenue for the entire firm was $7.6bn with $1.5bn related to MGM China. When you take away the latter the increase was a modest 4%.
Performance on the Las Vegas Strip was impressive with revenue per available room increasing 13% and domestic based casino revenue up 8% compared with the year before. Over in Macau is where the most impressive part of the entire casino business lies though.
MGM China had net revenue of $719m for Q4 (up from $570m in ’10) driven by a year-on-year increase in volume for a variety of different products. This was nothing in comparison to the full year net revenue figure hitting $2.6bn – 66% than the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA almost doubled as it increased 76% to $630m.
In the preceding conference call, CEO Jim Murren had some interesting comments regarding the US gaming industry. Wall Street Journal reporter Kate O’Keeffe tweeted” “$MGM CEO Jim Murren forecasts federal internet poker bill will pass this year,” but that was before his coup de grace. Las Vegas Review Journal writer Howard Stutz also tweeted: “Murren: “Gaming is coming back in Las Vegas. Bold statement. #MGM 4Q earnings”
His view reflects the general trend that has seen Las Vegas starting to recover over the past couple of years. It still won’t get close to the behemoth sized economies in Asia but a recovery is a sign of good things.