Las Vegas Sands Corp. reported a net loss of $40 million for the fourth quarter of last year, as a result of a one-time income tax expense of $727 million.
The quarterly loss reversed the gains from the fourth quarter of 2017, when the company posted a net income of $1.36 billion.
The nonrecurring tax payment led to a reduced net profit for the whole of 2018, of $2.95 billion, 9.6% lower than the previous year’s net profit of $3.26 billion.
The $727-million tax expense was due to the company adopting as of January 1, 2018 the “recently issued guidance by the Internal Revenue Service related to the international provision of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act… Our effective income tax rate for the fourth quarter of 2018 would have been 7.4% without the discrete expense associated with the Act.”
Net revenue for the fourth quarter was $3.48 billion, 2.5% higher year on year. Casinos contributed $2.46 billion to this.
Operating income for the period dropped 15% to $874 million, from $1.03 billion in the corresponding period in 2017.
“The decrease in operating income was due to depreciation acceleration and asset impairments associated with our development projects in Macao. We also had softer Rolling Chip volume in Singapore, partially offset by stronger operating performance in Macao due to a 10% increase in revenues,” the company’s press release read.
Macau operations of subsidiary Sands China Ltd. brought in $2.26 billion for the fourth quarter, 9.7% higher year on year. The Venetian Macao and the Parisian Macao posted the largest increases in net revenue, at 11.8% and 29.0% respectively. Sands China net income for the period was $465 million, 10.4% lower year on year.
Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said the fourth quarter saw “record mass revenues and continued growth in every market segment in Macao.” He noted an adjusted property EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) of $786 million for the Special Administrative Region, which was 7.7% higher than the same period in 2017.
Adjusted property EBITDA for the entire Sands, which includes the Marina Bay Sands, Las Vegas operating properties, and Sands Bethlehem, was $1.27 billion, 4.7% lower year on year. For the whole year, adjusted property EBITDA was $5.28 billion, 7.7% higher than in 2017.
For the whole of 2018, Macau operations made for $8.69 billion in net revenue, 14.2% higher than in 2017. Total net revenue for Sands in 2018 was $13.73 billion, up 7.9% year on year. Casino revenue was $9.82 billion of this, and was 8.1% higher than the previous year.
Adelson said, “We remain confident in the future opportunity in Macao and are progressing with our investments in the Four Seasons Tower Suites Macao, St. Regis Tower Suites Macao and The Londoner Macao.”