Sands China Ltd. (1928), the Hong Kong- listed casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates as Chinese tourists drove higher sales at Macau casinos.
Net income rose 70 percent to $1.13 billion in the 12 months ended Dec. 31 from $666.5 million a year earlier, based on international accounting standards, the casino operator said in a statement today. That exceeded the $1.08 billion average of 13 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The company announced the same earnings figure on Feb. 2 based on U.S. accounting standards.
Chinese visitors have fueled growth in Macau, the only place in the world’s most populous nation where gambling is legal. Gambling in the former Portuguese colony climbed 42 percent last year to 268 billion patacas ($33.5 billion) according to the city’s Gaming Inspection & Coordination Bureau.
Shares of Sands China rose 1 percent to HK$29.25 at close in Hong Kong. The benchmark Hang Seng Index gained 0.8 percent.
Sands China affirmed it will open the first phase of its new resort on Macau’s increasingly popular Cotai Strip next month, Chief Executive Officer Edward Tracy said today. It plans to add 40 VIP gaming rooms or about 140 VIP gaming tables, as well as 200 mass market gaming tables.
The second phase of Sands Cotai Central is expected to open in October and the company plans to add 200 mass market gaming tables by the third quarter this year, Tracy said. It will add 5,800 hotels rooms by the first quarter of 2013, he said. The new casino will join its existing venues of the Venetian, Four Seasons, Sands and Plaza Casino.
Earnings per share increased to 14.07 cents from 8.28 cents in 2010. Sales for the year rose 18 percent to $4.88 billion, while casino revenue gained 16 percent to $4.2 billion.
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