“Whatever the analysts say is what the analysts say,” was Daisy Ho’s response when quizzed about the launch date for SJM’s HK$36 billion integrated resort currently being developed in Cotai.
Ho was speaking to reporters moments after delivering her keynote address at G2E Asia in response to questions about rumoured delays to the project, with brokerage Bernstein having issued a note early Tuesday predicting that Grand Lisboa Palace will not open until the summer of 2020.
SJM has previously claimed it was aiming to open in late 2019.
In its note, Bernstein also took aim at SJM’s market share, which has fallen from 23% five years ago to 14% today and an EBITDA margin described as “by far the lowest in the Macau industry.
“SJM’s EBITDA margin is below its competitors, both at the consolidated operator level and within each segment that it reports,” analysts Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu wrote.
Asked about those figures, Ho said, “This will not be an overnight effort and we are working on that.
“Now, naturally competition is tough in Macau. Macau is also a fast-changing environment and is susceptible to a lot of macro factors.
“So give us time, we are working on it. As you can see already by our first quarter results we are picking up. Of course we are lagging because our property in Cotai has not opened.”
Ho had earlier provided some further insight into what Macau can expect from Grand Lisboa Palace, describing it as the “best of East and West” and inspired by European landmark architecture but decorated with Chinese motifs.