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Covid-19 restrictions lead to further losses at Studio City in Q3

| By Robert Fletcher
Macau integrated resort operator Studio City International posted $98.2m (£75.0m/€82.9m) net loss for the third quarter, as performance continues to be hurt by continuing restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic
Cordish Louisiana

Total operating revenue in the three months to 30 September amounted to just $900,000, a drop of 94.3% from $158.1m in the corresponding period last year.

Both gaming revenue and non-gaming income was all but wiped out by the Covid-19 crisis, which has caused tourism to Macau to largely dry up.

It was not until late September that restrictions on entry from China’s mainland, Hong Kong and other locations to the Special Administrative Region were eased and visas once again issued. Limited transport to Macau and Covid-19 quarantine requirements, which are again only recently being eased, also hit visitation.

As such, the provision of gaming-related services in Q3 generated a loss $16.5m, compared to $96.7m in revenue during Q3 last year.

Rooms revenue plummeted 88.1% to $2.6m, food and beverage revenue slipped 73.1% to $4.6m and entertainment revenue 97.5% to $134,000.

Revenue from service fees more than halved from $10.5m to $4.6m, while mall revenue to $5.2m, and retail and other revenue to $319,000.

Looking at costs for the quarter, total operating expenses stood at $73.5m, down 33.5% year-on-year.

General and administrative costs were reduced by 56.8% to $15.2m, while food and beverage spending was also cut by 68.3% to $4.5m.

Gaming-related service costs climbed 29.8% to $7.4m, while savings were also made across rooms, entertainment, mall and retail. Depreciation and amortisation charges, meanwhile, were marginally up to $41.5m.

Despite making savings across the business, the sharp drop in revenue led to an operating loss of $72.5m, compared to a $47.6m profit in Q3 last year. Adjusted loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at $30.2m, down from a positive result of $90.9m in 2019.

Studio City also reported $48.5m in non-operating expenses, including $30.0m in interest costs and an $18.5m loss on extinguishment of debt, which in turn led to a $121.1m loss before tax, compared to an $18.7m profit last year.

The operator did receive $36,000 in income tax credit in Q3, and also benefitted from $22.9m worth of profit from participation interest, but it still posted a net loss of $98.2, in contrast to a $14.3m profit in the same period in 2019.

Looking at Studio City’s year-to-date performance, total operating revenue for the nine months to 30 September was $25.5m, down 94.4% on last year.

This came despite a $39.0m loss from the provision of gaming-related services, again due to the impact of Covid-19 on the operator. With the exception of mall activities, where revenue was up 88.5% to $14.7m, all other areas of the business saw revenue fall in the first three quarters of 2020.

Operating costs were down 26.0% to $254.1m, but lower revenue meant Studio City posted an operating loss of $228.6m for the period, compared to a $115.8m profit in 2019.

Total non-operating expenses reached $103.1m, leaving a $331.7m loss before tax, down from a $16.9m profit last year. Studio City received $106,000 in tax credits in the, and also saw a $71.4m profit from participation interest, but this still left a net loss of $260.1m, compared to $12.8m in profit last year.

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