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SJM's nine-month HK$2.1bn hemorrhage in Macau

SJM Holdings has released its Q3 report, which showed a total negative EBITDA of HK$2.1bn (US$267m) for the first nine months of 2022. 

SJM Macau
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Furthermore, the report showed a 60% fall in net gaming revenue (NGR), totalling HK$913m, compared to Q3 2021.

As the parent company of SJM Resorts in Macau, SJM has seen significant losses in the past year due to China’s zero-Covid policy, which has crippled Macau’s gambling footfall. As a result, the Q3 report shows that SJM is 36% down annually for the first nine months of the year, with HK$4.7bn (US$601m) vs HK$7.3bn for last year.

Meanwhile, adjusted Q3 EBITDA for SJM was negative HK$968m, significantly down on 2021’s HK$460m. 

The operator is also running at a HK$4.6bn loss for 2022 so far – an even further decrease from the HK$2.7bn loss for Jan – September 2021.

The numbers have made for grim reading for SJM, with SJM Holdings Chairman and CEO Dr Ambrose So saying after releasing the report: “Results for the third quarter of 2022 continued to be severely impacted by travel restrictions and quarantine requirements. 

“In addition, following a local outbreak of Covid-19, all casinos and gaming areas in Macau were closed for 12 days in July by government order.

"In the current quarter, we look forward to the beginnings of gradual liberalisation of travel to Macau, to the award of the new gaming concessions, and to SJM’s commitment to a continuing presence in Macau for the long term.”

While SJM is holding out for the return of Macau’s strong gambling market, the recent news from China’s Communist Party indicated that it had no plans to ditch its zero-Covid policy – leading to what must be a hard rethink by many of the casinos based in the Chinese gambling hub.

The choice is now clear, stay and hope the people return en masse or jump out and hope the decision makes fiscal sense in the long run.

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