Macau Casino Operator SJM Holdings Posts US$53m Q1 Loss

  • Operations during the first quarter of 2020 were severely impacted by COVID-19
  • Travel restrictions and quarantine requirements have played a role in reduced visitors
  • Macau casino revenue plunged to a record low of US$94.4m in April
a businessman holds a red arrow to down and the inscription "profit"
According to an unaudited filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd recorded a HK$409m (US$52.8m) net loss for the first quarter. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Impacted by 15-day closure

SJM Holdings Ltd recorded a first-quarter loss of HK$409m (US$52.8m), according to an unaudited filing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This was a huge drop when compared to the HK$850m (US$109.6m) net profit generated during the same period in 2019.

first quarter of operations was impacted severely by the deadly outbreak of COVID-19

The Macau casino operator stated that the first quarter of operations was impacted severely by the deadly outbreak of COVID-19. The outbreak forced casinos in Macau to shut down for 15 days in February.

Travel and tourism impact

The pandemic resulted in travel restrictions being put in place for visitors to Macau from mainland China and other areas. This creates issues with players being able to visit the casinos.

Other restrictions in place include transportation options from Macau to and from other cities. Quarantine requirements have also posed an issue regarding casino traffic.

According to SJM Holdings, the firm recorded a net gaming revenue total of just below HK$3.41bn (US$439.8bn) for the first three months of 2020. When compared to 2019 monthly totals, the company experienced declines of 62.1%, 62.2%, and 59.8% for January, February, and March, respectively.

Optimistic about the future

Ambrose So Shu Fai, vice-chairman and chief executive of SJM Holdings, pointed out that the first quarter results reflect a severe contraction via tourism and travel based on the pandemic.

The vice-chairman said the company is optimistic that the market has the potential to recover later this year; particularly given the

successful policies of the Macau and (China’s) central government in controlling the outbreak.”

SJM Holdings outlook for the year reports that COVID-19 will affect the company’s operating results this year and possibly further. How the company will be affected in the coming months will be based on future developments and conditions.

This includes how the outbreak progresses and if officials will extend or lift protective measures in the coming months.

Record low for Macau casinos

The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau recently released casino revenue figures for April, showing a record revenue drop for gaming venues. As we reported, Macau casino revenue tumbled by almost 97% to a record low of $94.4m in April.

The poor figures are a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Casinos reopened in Macau, but are operating at limited capacity and with many restrictions in place. Visitors must quarantine for two weeks after returning from Macau, so people are staying away.