Bucking overall market trends, Macau casino operator SJM Holdings reported revenue, earnings and profit declines in the first half of 2017.
Figures released Tuesday show the Hong Kong-listed SJM’s gaming revenue falling 2% year-on-year to HKD 20.4b ($2.6b) in the six months ending June 30, while adjusted earnings fell 7.7% to HKD 1.5b and profit slid nearly 13% to HKD 955m.
The gaming revenue declines were across the board, as VIP revenue declined 3.4% to HKD 9.8b, mass market table games slipped 0.5% to HKD 10b and electronic gaming machines fell 3.2% to HKD 520m.
Unlike most of its Macau casino rivals, SJM’s properties failed to reap the rewards of the VIP gambling resurgence. VIP turnover was down 6.6%, in part due to SJM’s complement of VIP tables falling nearly one-sixth from the same period last year. SJM’s share of the overall Macau VIP market fell to 14.2% from 18.4% last year.
While SJM’s mass market tables reported the smallest decline of its three gaming verticals, SJM’s share of Macau’s overall mass market revenue fell 1.8 points to 21.4% in H1. Similarly, SJM’s overall slots share fell 1.6 points to 8.5%.
If there was a bright spot, it was SJM’s flagship property, the Casino Grand Lisboa, which saw revenue improve 7.7% to HKD 7.3b, largely on the strength of its VIP operations. The Lisboa’s VIP turnover was up nearly 10% while VIP revenue was up nearly 14%, thanks in part to the March opening of a new dragon-themed VIP Premium area.
Following the launch later this year of MGM China’s new MGM Cotai property, SJM will be the only one of Macau’s six casino concessionaires whose operations are entirely confined to Macau’s peninsula region.
Work was halted on SJM’s in-development $4b property on Cotai, the Grand Lisboa Palace, following the death of a worker in an industrial accident in June. SJM is still waiting on the authorities’ signal to resume construction but the company insists it remains on track to open the new venue in H2 2018.