Las Vegas Sands’ Q4 2023 Reports Shows Huge Yearly Growth

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Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the Nevada-based global gambling operator without any current U.S. casino operations, experienced an exceptional financial year in 2023.

The company’s revenue soared to a cool $10.38 billion, driven by robust performances in Macau and Singapore. Net income was $469 million for the fourth quarter alone, compared to an operating loss of $269 million in 2022.

These figures represent a huge return to form after previous years of losses, illustrating the company’s strong recovery and growth trajectory.

Macau reemerged as the key market for Las Vegas Sands in 2023, after the luxury Chinese casino resort destination’s revenues fell behind the Nevada casinos of Las Vegas in 2021 and 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

The Special Administrative Region’s revenue surged to $6.56 billion, representing a massive 303.1% increase compared to the previous year. This substantial growth is attributed to the full lifting of pandemic measures in Macau after almost three full years of limits on casino visitation numbers and incoming flights from China.

The return to normalcy in Macau saw a similar bounce back with pent-up demand that also contributed to a record 2023 for Las Vegas’ gambling businesses.  

“We were extremely pleased with our financial and operating results for the quarter, which reflect the ongoing improvement in the operating environment in both Macau and Singapore,” said Robert G. Goldstein, Sands’ chairman and chief executive officer, in a press release.

“We remain deeply enthusiastic about our opportunities for growth in Macau and Singapore in the years ahead.”

Casinos and Markets

Goldstein’s confidence is underpinned by the impressive quarterly EBITDA growth observed throughout 2023, starting from $400 million in Q1 and rising consistently in subsequent quarters.

A significant contributor to Macau’s success was the ongoing $1.20 billion reinvestment program at The Londoner Macau.

The impressive British-themed casino resort hotel features replicas of the famous Elizabeth Tower that hosts the Big Ben bell, and a façade inspired by the Victorian building housing Charing Cross station, the nearest station to the historic very center of London.

The Londoner Macau, along with other venues like The Venetian Macau, which alone saw its revenue increase by 293.3% to $2.68 billion, played pivotal roles in Sands’ return to form in 2023.

In Singapore, Las Vegas Sands also experienced a healthy growth, with revenues increasing by 53% to $3.95 billion. This performance was solely attributed to the architecturally striking Marina Bay Sands venue. The casino resort was found to be Singapore’s second-most valuable brand in a recent study.

Challenges and U.S. Return

Despite the remarkable revenue growth, Las Vegas Sands faced some challenges. Total operating expenses rose to $8.06 billion, mainly due to increased resort operation costs as Macau reopened fully.

Additionally, the company reported a net profit of $1.22 billion for the year, which, while still substantial, was 33.4% lower than the previous year. This decrease is partly attributed to the lack of gains from disposal of discontinued operations that boosted the previous year’s figures.

Big expenses for the year included its campaigns to return to the U.S. casinos market.

Sands sold its Nevada casinos in 2021, shortly after the death of founder Sheldon Adelson. It is currently progressing with a plan to join the New York casinos market, with an application to build a $4 billion to $6 billion resort in Nassau County, Long Island.

However, the field is a competitive one, with a complex and expensive bidding process. There is a guaranteed $60 million fee just to apply, regardless of success or not, and the project has faced legal battles, which means plenty must have been spent on lawyers’ fees.

As if that wasn’t a task enough, Sands is also seemingly still committed to the long-haul game of campaigning for legal Texas casinos.

Owner Miram Adelson, widow of the late Sheldon, sold $2 billion of her Sands stock in order to fund a $3.5 billion purchase of Texas NBA team the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks’ previous owner, billionaire investor Mark Cuban, has previously expressed keen interest in Texas casino resorts, so that deal sparked renewed speculation that Sands’ long held ambition might be back on again.

It then emerged that Sands had also bought a $22.4 million plot of land in the Dallas suburb of Irving, just months before Adelson bought the Mavericks. However, few details have emerged on the particulars of Sands’ plans since.

Fourth Quarter and Into 2024

The fourth quarter of 2023 was an exemplary of the operator’s return to strong performance over the year, with revenues reaching $2.92 billion, marking a 161% increase from Q4 2022.

The majority of this revenue came from casino operations, supplemented by income from rooms, food and beverage, mall, and convention retail. The quarter saw Macau revenue increase by 319.6% to $1.86 billion, while Singapore’s revenue rose by 55.6% to $1.06 billion.

Las Vegas Sands also announced changes in its leadership team at Sands China. Rob Goldstein will step down as CEO but remain as chair of the board, with new appointments set to guide the company into 2024 pending further announcements.

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