JM, the largest casino operator by revenue, said on Monday that net profit for January-March was us$ 219 million, compared with us$ 180.3 million a year earlier. The company is largely controlled by Angela Leong, the fourth wife of local tycoon Stanley Ho.
SJM is one of six licensed gaming operators in the former Portuguese enclave and captures close to a third of the total Macau gambling market through its 18 casinos. It has lost ground, however, to rivals over the past year as it lacks presence on the Cotai strip, Macau's fastest growing casino district and where Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson opened a us$ 4 billion casino in April.
SJM, a us$ 12 billion company by market capitalization is still waiting for approval to build its new casino on the Cotai strip.
Macau is the only place Chinese nationals are legally allowed to gamble, resulting in tens of thousands of mainlanders travelling to the tiny hub every day.
SJM's gaming revenue for the first quarter increased 8.5 percent to us$ 2.53 billion, accounting for 27 percent of Macau's casino market. This compares with a market share of 31.9 percent for the same period last year.
Shares in SJM have risen 35 percent since the start of the year, outperforming the benchmark Hang Seng Index's .HSI 12 percent gain and in line peers such as Sands China, which is also up 35 percent.
SJM's managing director Leong, a former dance instructor, has a net worth of us$ 1.6 billion according to Forbes. She is also a member of Macau's legislative council.