Gaming | Lawrence Ho predicts Macau recovery in second quarter

The gaming sector could begin showing signs of recovery as early as mid-March, said Lawrence Ho, chairman and CEO of Melco Resorts and Entertainment in a conference call after the company announced “positive results” for the last quarter of 2020.

“We remain optimistic on the recovery in Macau and continue to expect increased visitation in the near-term,” said Ho.

With the further easing of travel restrictions between Macau and mainland China, he remains hopeful the market “will be strengthened by returning players.”

Ho noted the increase of players during the last days of the Chinese New Year, which carried over to the rest of the month: “I do think it is really two or three months rather than what we’ve been thinking for the past year which has been longer and longer.”

Lawrence Ho also said that Melco remains committed to its internationalization program (Cyprus, Japan) and its expansion in Macau.

“While impacted by Covid-19, Melco remains committed to its global development program. In Macau, construction on the expansion of Studio City is progressing. Upon completion, Studio City will offer approximately 900 additional luxury hotel rooms and suites, one of the world’s largest indoor/outdoor water parks, a Cineplex, fine-dining restaurants, and state-of-the-art MICE space. Also in Macau, our facility upgrade works at City of Dreams are ongoing, with the fully renovated Nϋwa nearing completion,” Ho said.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment saw its Adjusted Property EBITDA rising 170% quarter-to-quarter to $53.4 million in the last three months of 2020.

The company’s operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2020 was $144.8 million, compared with operating income of $173.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019, the gaming operator announced on Thursday.

The gaming concessionaire reported $199.7 million in net losses, while net revenues dropped by 64% year-on-year to about $530 million.

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