They say that when a door closes, another one opens, and the finances of Las Vegas Sands definitely reflect that. The continued decline in the company’s Macau establishment earnings is in stark contrast to how well its Singapore resort is doing, and it just goes to show how important operating conditions are, and exactly how long the road to recovery from the global pandemic is.
Marina Bay Sands $2B Annual EDITBA
During the company’s 3Q22 earnings call, a transcription of which can be found on Seeking Alpha, Chairman and CEO Robert Goldstein outlined his outlook for the future performance of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) in Singapore. The company’s Marina Bay Sands (MBS) resort has most certainly made a name for itself, and its recovery to pre-pandemic results seems to be going smoothly, with the company close to catching up to 2019’s US$1.6 billion EDITBA.
Goldstein even went as far as to say the company is expecting its $1 billion investment in MBS to pay off in the not-too-distant future, with an expected $2 billion annual EDITBA in the next couple of years. He outlined how there are three different impediments in the company’s way of achieving this currently. Goldstein listed the travel restrictions and a 55% visitation rate from Asia, excluding China, as the first two reasons, and he went on to describe how local operational levels are still not at maximum potential.
So, to achieve the $500 million per quarter, some more changes are needed, and LVS seems to have it all under control with the refocus on bringing a more premium experience to its iconic Singapore resort with that $1 billion investment. However, $500 is a steep goal, considering this quarter’s $343 million result. This means a larger external change needs to occur in order to meet the $500 million mark. Singapore hotels need to go full capacity, and travel restrictions, especially from China, have to be lifted, as Goldstein admitted the current situation in China is hurting business as well.
Sands China Continues Loss Streak
While China’s zero-COVID policy seems to be hurting the recovery of LVS in Singapore to some extent, it’s completely ruining its Macau-based Sands China subsidiary’s business, if the financials are anything to go by. The reported net loss for 3Q22 was $380 million, which is an improvement compared to 3Q21’s $594 million but it’s still an increase over the $290 million loss from this year’s second quarter.
The hospitality industry has already shown it’s not immune to restrictions such as lockdowns by any means, and this ties its performance to the operational climate, which LVS is sorely experiencing right now. The rocky story of the adjusted property EDITBA results reflects that, with $47 million in 1Q21, which is almost a quarter of 3Q22’s $191 million, but again – slightly down in comparison to last quarter’s $209 million.
So, to decrease this volatility, an increase in volume is a foundational requirement. This means restrictions in Macau would need to be somewhat lifted or at least eased down a notch or two. The second-best option is to at least have more travel to and from China, which could prove beneficial not just locally, but remotely as well, as MBS needs those tourists to stay, eat, shop and gamble at the property, too. While these are all uncertain changes, the results from them eventually happening are bound to contribute to the fulfilment of projections for the future of LVS.