Macau casino operator SJM Holdings saw profit fall nearly 13% in 2014 as mass market gains failed to offset serious VIP gaming declines.
SJM, Macau’s largest casino operator, reported full-year gaming revenue down 8.8% to HKD 79.3b (US $10.2b). SJM’s annual earnings fell 10.5% to HKD 7.76b while profit slipped 12.7% to HKD 6.73b. SJM blamed the declines on Macau’s ongoing struggles, and while the company says it has no idea how long the “conditions which inhibited gaming revenue growth” in 2014 will continue, it remains bullish about SJM’s future.
SJM’s mass market revenue rose 8.9% but the VIP sector fell 17.3%. The VIP segment’s share of SJM’s overall gaming revenue fell to 60.9% from 67% in 2013, while the mass market rose from 31.3% to 37.4%. SJM’s share of Macau’s overall VIP revenue fell from 25.2% in 2013 to 23.4% last year. SJM’s average number of VIP gaming tables fell 7.9% in 2014 while mass market tables rose 3.4%.
Revenue from slots and other electronic gaming machines fell 4% to HKD 1.34b. The average daily net win per machine rose 11.2% but the average number of slots in operation fell 13.7%. SJM features slots at 11 of the 20 casinos that operate under its license.
Non-gaming revenue fell 22.4% to HKD 971m despite a 4% rise in average room rates. Occupancy at SJM’s flagship property Casino Grand Lisboa fell 3.2 points to 93.2%.
The Casino Grand Lisboa’s individual revenue numbers mirrored the whole, with overall revenue down 8.3% to HKD 29.6b. VIP revenue fell 14.2% as turnover fell 5.7%, while mass table revenue gained 16% and slots rose 7.5%. The average number of VIP tables fell 8.7% while mass tables increased by 12.4%. The property saw visitors fall 6.1% to 13.6m.
Despite the tumble, SJM says it managed to maintain its position as Macau’s market leader, controlling 23.2% of the special administrative region’s casino business. However, that’s down from 24.8% in 2013 and from 26.7% in 2012.
SJM also offered an update of sorts on the case of Alan Ho, nephew of SJM founder Stanley Ho, who was arrested last month for his alleged role in a prostitution ring operating out of the Hotel Lisboa. SJM chairman Ambrose So told local radio station TDM that while Alan Ho was responsible for managing Grand Lisboa, he “was not detained on SJM property. I think it’s better to wait and see what will happen.”