Las Vegas Sun

May 26, 2024

Las Vegas Sands narrows loss on Macau strength

Company still sees weakness on the Las Vegas Strip


Associated Press file

The Venetian is shown on the Las Vegas Strip in this file photo.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 | 9:06 p.m.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. Financial Information

  4Q 2009 4Q 2008 % Change 3Q 2009
Revenue $1.28 billion $1.093 billion 17.5% $1.14 billion
Net income ($113.9 million) ($136.5 million) N/A ($123 million)
Net income per share (17 cents) (27 cents) N/A (19 cents)

Las Vegas Sands Corp. today said its loss narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2009 thanks to strong business in China -- but the company also reported continued weakness at its Las Vegas Strip hotel-casinos.

The company lost $113.9 million or 17 cents per share vs. a loss in the year-ago quarter of $136.5 million or 27 cents. Quarterly revenue of $1.28 billion was up 17 thanks to strong results in Asia, where the company has casinos in the Chinese district of Macau and is preparing to open a big resort in Singapore.

Las Vegas Sands said the improved results reflect an increase in operating income and a decrease in interest expense, partially offset by a loss on the early retirement of debt, a smaller income tax benefit and increases in preferred stock dividends and accretion of preferred stock.

Like other Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino operators, Las Vegas Sands endured difficult times in 2009 as the recession deterred travel to the U.S. gaming capital.

"While our current quarter's results in Las Vegas reflect lower room and food and beverage revenues, principally because of less group business in Las Vegas, our gaming volumes have stabilized, and the execution of our cost savings programs has positioned us to deliver improved operating margins and cash flows as the economy and our group business recover. We believe 2010 will reflect a recovery in the group business in Las Vegas, as recent booking trends reflect increases compared to 2009,'' Chairman and Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson said in a statement.

In Las Vegas, the company called the results at its Venetian and Palazzo resorts with their 7,100 suites disappointing as quarterly net revenue tumbled $63.4 million or 19.4 percent year-to-year to $263.7 million.

The Las Vegas operations produced an operating loss of $15.7 million in the 2009 quarter vs. operating income in the 2008 quarter of $14.6 million.

Occupancy at the Venetian fell from 92 percent in the 2008 quarter to 78 percent in the 2009 quarter as the average daily room rate fell $10 to $193.

Similarly, the Palazzo saw occupancy fall from 96 percent to 85 percent and the average daily rate was down $13 to $204.

These numbers represent a deterioration from the third quarter, when occupancy was 89 percent at the Venetian and 88 percent at the Palazzo.

In a positive note, the company said of Las Vegas: ``Despite low table games hold and reduced room revenues, we saw demand for future group rooms continue to improve. We expect to realize significantly more group room nights in 2010 than the approximately 470,000 we realized in 2009.''

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