Las Vegas Sands building digital team as losses widen in Q1 amid ongoing travel restrictions
Las Vegas Sands is in the process of building out its digital team in what it described as a “growth and investment stage” for its online business.
The operator will continue to pursue opportunities to develop large-scale casino resorts in the US and Asia and to create its digital presence, COO Patrick Dumont told analysts on a Q1 earnings call yesterday (27 April).
Sands is focused on building these opportunities, rather than buying via M&A, he said, suggesting the firm will not be looking for immediate acquisitions in the land-based or digital sectors.
On the question of digital, Dumont said the firm is still at a very early exploration point.
“We’re really in a growth and investment stage,” he said. “When we have something to talk about we’ll definitely start discussing it, but at this point, it’s very early stage. We’re building a team and looking forward to the future.”
The casino operator reported net revenue of $943m for the first three months of the year, down 21.2% on Q1 2021’s $1.20bn.
With $1.25bn in operating expenses, down slightly from $1.29bn in the prior year period, the business posted an operating loss of $302m for the first quarter, widening from a $96m loss in Q1 2021.
After other expenses including interest and tax-related costs, the firm declared a net loss from continuing operations of $476m for the quarter, compared to a $280m loss in Q1 2021.
LVS COO Patrick Dumont on the digital business: “When we have something to talk about we’ll definitely start discussing it, but at this point, it’s very early stage.”
Sands finalised the $5.05bn sale of its Las Vegas properties during the quarter. After accounting for a $2.86bn gain on the sale, and $46m of income from the properties’ operations, both net of tax, net income attributable to Las Vegas Sands Corp came to $2.53bn, equal to $3.31 in net income per share.
Of its continuing operations, the Singapore-based Marina Bay Sands continued as the firm’s biggest earner, bringing in $399m during the quarter compared to $426m in the prior-year period.
Sands’ Macau operations generated a further $551m, down from $777m, with The Venetian and The Londoner generating the majority of revenue at $227m and $121m, respectively.
Sands said the downturn in revenue from its Asian business was a result of continuing Covid-19 travel restrictions in Singapore and Macau. However, the operator is confident it will return to positive cash flow as restrictions ease and travel continues to recover.
Customer demand and spending in Macau remain consistent, and are in-line with pre-pandemic levels, the operator said.