et income rose to us$ 202 million in the six months ended June from us$ 43.4 million a year earlier, the company said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange yesterday. Sales rose 79 % to us$ 3.4 billion.
Revenue from high-stakes gamblers more than doubled to us$ 2.2 billion in the first half as the number of VIP tables rose to 464 in June, compared with 320 at the end of December. Casino revenue in Macau surged 70 % in the first six months of the year to us$ 10.7 billion.
“Most companies in Macau’s gaming industry are benefiting from rising number of visitors from mainland China,” Kenny Tang, executive director at Hong Kong-based Redford Asset Management Ltd., said in a phone interview today. He recommends buying SJM’s shares.
Macau’s visitor arrivals increased 18 %t in the first half, with tourists from China surging 27 %.
SJM rose 4.32 % to us$ 0.96 at the 4p.m. close of trading in Hong Kong, before the results were announced. The stock has surged 75 percent this year compared with a 5.2 % decline in the benchmark Hang Seng Index.
The firm continued to have the highest share of Macau’s casino market at 31.8 % in the first half, compared with 29.6 % a year ago, the company said. “Still, SJM will see its market share gradually falling as its competitors build new projects,” Tang said.
The casino operator’s market share fell to 29 % this month while Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.’s increased to 19 % from 15 %, and Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd.’s grew to 14 % from 12 %, CLSA analyst Aaron Fischer estimated in a note to clients Aug. 20. SJM will pay a dividend of 5 Hong Kong cents a share. SJM didn’t pay a dividend for the corresponding period last year.
Melco International Development Ltd. controlled by Stanley Ho’s son Lawrence Ho, today reported its first-half net loss narrowed to us$ 28 million from a loss of us$ 104.3 million a year ago. “By dealing with junkets directly, the profitability of its VIP business has enjoyed sustained improvement,” said the company, whose joint venture with Australian Crown, Melco Crown Entertainment, runs the City of Dreams and Altira Macau casinos.