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Sands China Profits Jump 50% as Macau’s Visitor Numbers Rise

Skift Take

Added attractions at Macau are bringing in more visitors from a broader number of countries. Casinos, the largest attraction on the strip, are reaping the rewards.

— Samantha Shankman

Sands China Ltd., the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, posted a 50 percent gain in first-quarter profit as its resorts drew more mass-market gamblers in the world’s biggest casino market.

Adjusted property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization at the Hong Kong-listed unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp. increased to $938.1 million from $626.4 million a year earlier, according to the parent company’s earnings statement today. That beat the $937.5 million median of six analysts’ estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.

Net income climbed 66 percent to $751.9 million from $452.9 million a year earlier while revenue rose 35 percent to $2.72 billion, based on U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. are among Macau casinos attracting more holiday-makers as they added shopping malls, theaters and exhibition halls in their resorts. An increase in the number of hotel rooms and an improved rail connection to Macau’s Cotai, Asia’s equivalent of the Las Vegas Strip, also lured more families on vacation from mainland China.

“Sands China should benefit by having the highest share of hotel room inventory and non-gaming amenities in the market,” Praveen Choudhary, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd., wrote in an April 15 report.

Sands China rose 1.4 percent to HK$63.45 at the close in Hong Kong trading before the earnings announcement. The stock has climbed 0.2 percent this year, compared with a 3.2 percent drop in the city’s benchmark Hang Seng Index.

Sands plans to invest $2.8 billion to build the Parisian resort, featuring a replica of the Eiffel Tower, on Cotai. The resort will be its fifth in Macau after Sands Cotai Central opened in 2012.

Gambling revenue in Macau, the only place in China where casinos are legal, rose 20 percent to $12.8 billion in the first three months of 2014 from a year earlier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vinicy Chan in Hong Kong at vchan91@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephanie Wong at swong139@bloomberg.net Suresh Seshadri, Joshua Fellman.

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