Macau’s industry-wide EBITDA grew by 10% quarter-on-quarter to reach 80% of 2019 levels, aided by the strength of the mass gaming segment, according to investment bank JP Morgan.
In a Monday note following release of Macau’s September GGR figures – which saw GGR fall 13% month-on-month to MOP$14.94 billion due to adverse weather events – analysts DS Kim, Mufan Shi and Selina Li said the September quarter saw headline GGR rise by 3% over Q2 to MOP$531 million (US$66 million) per day.
While this was only back to 69% of pre-COVID levels, EBITDA reached 80% on the back of mass GGR being the main earnings driver. Mass gaming revenues grew by 9% quarter-on-quarter, according to JP Morgan calculations, to hit almost 94% of pre-COVID levels, making up for a 3% decline in VIP GGR.
“Overall, the 3Q trends fell a little shy of initial Street estimates entering the quarter (although partly due to the bad September weather), showing a sign of fatigue after 9 to 10 months of consensus upgrades,” the analysts wrote.
They also maintained their expectations that mass GGR would fully recover to pre-COVID levels during the current Golden Week period, albeit with visitation numbers during the first few days of the holiday appearing “somewhat mixed” with weaker-than-expected mainland visitors versus extremely strong non-mainlander recovery.
“Our eyeball checks on major gaming floors gave us a bit of mixed feelings, because while some floors look as busy as good-old-days of pre-COVID Golden Week, some did appear less busy (especially those premium ones, at least during our walks).
“It’s too early to draw any meaningful conclusions just yet but overall we do not expect any major surprises in Golden Week with GGR likely within expectations and mass hitting 100%+ of pre-COVID levels.”