Financial results

Sands sees $961M net loss in 2021 amid travel restrictions; eyes non-Vegas US opportunities and UAE

Sands is selling The Venetian, Palazzo and The Venetian Expo in Las Vegas.
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Casino giant Las Vegas Sands has reported its financial results for the fourth-quarter of 2021. Net revenue for the period was $1.01 billion, a slight decrease of 0.7% from the prior-year quarter. The company credits pandemic-related travel restrictions and reduced visitation as continuing to impact financial results for its Asian operations.

"We remain confident in the eventual recovery in travel and tourism spending across our markets and enthusiastic about the opportunity to welcome more guests back to our properties in 2022 and the years ahead," said Robert G. Goldstein, chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

However, while pandemic-related travel restrictions negatively affected financial performance, Goldstein remarked the company “again generated positive EBITDA” in each of its markets, including Macau and SingaporeConsolidated adjusted property EBITDA was $251 million, compared to $191 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating loss was $138 million, versus $119 million in the prior year; and a net loss of $315 million was delivered, compared to $303 million in Q4 2020.

For the full year, the company delivered an operating loss of $689 million, which was lesser than the $1.39 billion operating loss from the prior year. In 2021, net loss attributable to Las Vegas Sands was $961 million -or $1.26 per diluted share-, down from a net loss of $1.69 billion in 2020.

The company also recorded a 70.4% increase in net revenue to $2.87 billion for the full fiscal year. The results no longer include Las Vegas assets, which are now listed as a “discontinued operation held for sale.”

"Our ongoing investments in our team members, our communities and our market-leading Integrated Resort offerings position us exceedingly well to deliver growth as travel restrictions eventually subside and the recovery comes to fruition,” added the company’s CEO. “We are fortunate that our financial strength supports our investment and capital expenditure programs in both Macau and Singapore, as well as our pursuit of growth opportunities in new markets."

Breaking down Q4 results show a 3.9% year-on-year decline in net revenues for Macau properties to $643 million and a net loss of $245 million, in line with the $246 million loss Sands China posted the prior year. Meanwhile, Adjusted Property EBITDA grew 36.5% to $74 million.

The most affected property was The Parisian Macau, which saw a 67.3% decline to $67 million, while The Venetian Macau saw net revenues decline 16.8% to $272 million. On the other hand, The Londoner Macau posted revenues up 46.3% to $139 million, while The Plaza Macau and Four Seasons grew 22.8% to $140 million.

But Sands’ most profitable property continues to be Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, which outperformed the company’s Macau venues by posting net revenues of $368 million -up 6.7%- and Adjusted Property EBITDA of $177 million, up 22.9% in Q4.

Marina Bay Sands, in Singapore.

The gaming giant also issued an update on its definitive agreements to sell its Las Vegas real property and operations, a deal struck in March 2021 for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $6.25 billion. The company said it anticipates the transaction to close “in the first quarter of 2022.”

In addition to remarking plans to stay on course with big investments in both Macau and Singapore -including a $1 billion investment in Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands-, during a call with investors on Wednesday company officials stated they are also focused on US gaming opportunities in New York, Florida and Texas, reports Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The New York prospects come amid a recent announcement by Gov. Hochul for three new licenses in the state -”we have a team on the ground working through it and I hope we can get a license,” officials said-, while in Florida, the company is in “signature-gathering mode.” In Texas, the company has been “down there,” trying “to find our place in that market.”

Chief operating officer and executive director of Sands China Grant Chum also expressed optimism in the company being likely to not have any trouble navigating Macau’s revised licensing process, set for June. Company officials are also encouraged that there won’t be new gaming tax increases, adds the cited news source.

But Sands also has an eye set on the United Arab Emirates: “If you go to the UAE and see the investments that are going on there, it’s really remarkable,” officials said during the call. “It’s something we will continue to watch and look at, but there are a lot of high-quality markets that are available to our company, and we’re going to keep all our options open.” 

This statement comes after Wynn Resorts announced plans for a multibillion-dollar integrated resort development on the man-made Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, earlier this week. This would mark the first introduction of gambling into the UAE.

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