Genting Berhad’s flagship Las Vegas Strip resort, Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV), produced record revenue, EBITDA and EBITDA margin in the three months to 31 December 2022, although analysts believe profitability remains “below expectations”.
The Malaysian gaming giant published its 4Q22 and FY22 financial results late Thursday, revealing RWLV revenue of US$227 million for the December quarter, up from US$200 million in Q3. EBITDA of US$47 million was also considerably higher than US$18 million in Q3 – aided by hotel occupancy rising from 86% to 89% on a full inventory of 3,500 rooms.
The sequential increase was attributed the return of convention business and visitors to the state of Nevada, however Nomura analysts Tushar Mohata and Alpa Aggarwal said absolute EBITDA remains below expectations, “especially as we estimate RWLV also has quarterly interest charges of US$25 million and depreciation charges of US$60 million, which will drag EBITDA into losses at the net income level.
“Furthermore, we believe that part of the reason for the stronger 4Q22 performance was seasonality in the holiday weeks,” they wrote in a research note.
For FY22, RWLV recorded a 120% year-on-year increase in revenue to US$794.4 million while EBITDA came in at US$116 million – broadly in line with consensus. Hotel occupancy reached 84% for the year.
Genting said it was confident of maintaining RWLV’s upward trajectory throughout 2023, aided by a series of major sporting events schedule to take place in Las Vegas during the year.
“In Las Vegas, visitor volume in the State of Nevada has returned to 93% of pre-pandemic levels with international travel continuing to recover as COVID-19 travel restrictions ease and air travel into Las Vegas continues to grow according to the Las Vegas Convention Visitors Authority,” it said.
“Further, convention attendance has reached 97% of pre-pandemic levels and 2023 attendance is expected to surpass 2019 levels, as larger conventions return and new sporting events are introduced such as Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix and NFL Pro Bowl in 2023.
“During the current quarter, RWLV achieved record bests in casino revenue, hotel revenue, and F&B revenue all of which show positive movement towards future targeted projections. With the growing return of conventions and business travel to Las Vegas, RWLV will have its highest mix of convention base room nights in 2023. New performances at the Resorts World Theatre and future projects are expected to drive significant foot traffic in 2023 and beyond.”