SJM Holdings Ltd. (880), Asia’s biggest casino company, reported full-year profit that beat analyst estimates as mainland Chinese gamblers bet more in Macau.
Net income rose 14 percent to HK$7.7 billion ($993 million) in 2013 from HK$6.75 billion a year earlier, according to a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today. That surpassed the HK$7.58 billion average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Gaming revenue climbed 10 percent to HK$86.96 billion.
SJM joins Sands China Ltd. and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (6883) in reporting improved results in the world’s largest casino gambling hub as Chinese visitors to Macau rose 10 percent to 18.6 million last year, according to the city’s tourist office. Those travelers, who accounted for more than 60 percent of total arrivals, have helped fuel a boom in the country’s only city where casinos are legal.
The homegrown company, which controls 20 of the 35 casinos in Macau, had a market share of 24.8 percent in 2013, compared with 26.7 percent a year ago. The company’s mass market table gaming revenue increased by 13 percent while gambling revenue from VIPs, or high-stake bettors, rose 9.4 percent last year, it said.
SJM, founded by mogul Stanley Ho, faces intensifying competition as rivals including Sands China, Wynn Macau Ltd. (1128) and MGM China Holdings Ltd. (2282) draw gamblers to their resorts with glitzy malls, restaurants and theaters. They are also expanding in Macau’s Cotai area, Asia’s version of the Las Vegas Strip, where SJM currently doesn’t have a presence. Bloomberg