Analysts estimate that Macau’s casinos have exceeded US$1 billion in cumulative Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) for the first quarter of 2023, marking the highest figure since the Covid-19 pandemic began in early 2020.
The total Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the first quarter of the year has reached MOP34.64 billion (US$4.29 billion), marking the first time that EBITDA has surpassed US$1 billion since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to analysts George Choi and Ryan Cheung from Citigroup Global Markets Inc, as well as DS Kim and Mufan Shi from JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific), Macau’s casinos have collectively generated an estimated industry EBITDA of US$1.038 billion in the first quarter of 2023. Similarly, JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) estimates that the six operators in Macau will have also generated US$1 billion or more in EBITDA for the same period.
Macau’s casino gross gaming revenue for the first quarter of 2023 exceeded US$4.28 billion, showing a significant increase of nearly 95% compared to the same period last year.
JP Morgan predicts that MGM China Holdings is expected to deliver the best performance in the first quarter, with an estimated mass/slot gross gaming revenue reaching almost 110% of pre-pandemic levels. Citigroup also identified MGM China as the top performer in terms of recovery for the first three months, while suggesting that SJM Holdings may be the slowest to recover.
Citigroup has projected that SJM Holdings may be the only operator in Macau to remain in negative Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA) territory, although with a narrowed EBITDA loss. The forecasted EBITDA loss for SJM Holdings in the first quarter is expected to be US$35 million, compared to a loss of US$123 million in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Before the easing of Covid-19 countermeasures in Macau, mainland China, and Hong Kong in early January, the casino industry in Macau faced multiple quarters of negative Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA). Nevertheless, operators were able to implement cost-cutting measures during this period, resulting in costs being maintained below pre-pandemic levels.