Macau casino operator SJM Q3 net profit rises 10.3 percent

Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:46am EST

* Q3 net profit HK$1.83 billion vs HK$1.66 billion

* Stock up 41 percent year to date

* Cotai project expected to open in 2017

HONG KONG, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Macau casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 10.3 percent to HK$1.83 billion ($236.08 million) versus HK$1.66 billion a year earlier.

Gambling revenue in the former Portuguese enclave, an hour from Hong Kong by ferry, has continued to break records with October revenue coming in at $4.6 billion, the highest monthly figure on record.

Controlled by the family of gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the sole player in Macau's lucrative gaming market for 40 years, SJM still retains - at 26 percent - the biggest market share despite the entry of foreign players like U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Sands China Ltd and Steve Wynn's Wynn Macau Ltd.

Known for its flamboyant Grand Lisboa skyscraper, SJM is expanding its holdings with its Cotai project expected to open in 2017. SJM in August also signed an agreement with fashion house Versace for the development of a luxury five-star hotel.

Analysts expect SJM's market share to decline to 15-20 percent in the next several years as new casinos on Cotai are likely to draw gamblers away from the Peninsula area where SJM dominates.

Shares in SJM slipped 1.2 percent on Monday, but are up 41 percent since the start of the year. Like its Macau gaming peers, SJM has continued to outperform the Hang Seng benchmark index, which is up 1.8 percent in the same period.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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