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SINGAPORE's Marina Bay Sands continues to be a resilient business that beat analyst expectations and hit new winnings records, said Las Vegas Sands chairman Sheldon Adelson.
He was making the remarks even as Singapore has been hit by a fall in Chinese casino visitors following China's anti-corruption crackdown.
At an earnings conference call on Thursday (Singapore time) following the American casino and resort company's first quarter results, he said: "I'm extremely pleased to say our strong financial results confirm that we have an outstanding business there.
"To quote Mark Twain, the rumours of Singapore's demise as a world-class integrated resort destination are both greatly exaggerated and certainly premature."
Marina Bay Sands earned an adjusted property Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) of US$415 million, down 4.6 per cent from a year ago. This beat analyst expectations of US$333 million, Mr Adelson noted. On a constant currency basis, "hold-normalised Ebitda" - a supplemental, internal measure of performance - was up 3 per cent, he said.
The first quarter marked "the all-time quarterly record in mass win per day in Singapore dollars", Mr Adelson added.
"Marina Bay Sands continues to serve as the most important reference site for emerging jurisdictions that are considering large-scale integrated resort developments. The iconic appeal of Marina Bay Sands has driven strong growth in visitation from residents of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, the wider Asian region, and around the world to Marina Bay Sands in Singapore," he said.
Casino revenues at Marina Bay Sands fell 7 per cent to US$632 million for the quarter. Occupancy at the hotel fell to 94.8 per cent from 99.3 per cent a year ago, while revenue per available room was down to US$393 from US$425.