Grand Lisboa Palace Could Operate at Full Capacity by December 2023
- The Grand Lisboa Palace continues to report EBITDA losses as it still operates at a limited capacity
- SJM Holdings hopes to reach EBITDA breakeven for the Cotai property in Q3 of 2023
- The operator is lagging behind its rivals despite achieving positive EBITDA in Q1
The Grand Lisboa Palace (GLP) resort in Cotai is likely to operate at full capacity by the end of 2023, according to analysts from institutional broker BofA Securities.
GLP’s parent company SJM Holdings reported positive adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) across all its Macau operations during the first quarter of the year. But GLP suffered huge losses in the same period as the property is still running at limited capacity.
SJM Hopes to Reach EBITDA Breakeven for GLP in Third Quarter
GLP opened to the public in July 2021 and currently has three hotel towers, two of which are now fully open, while the third one had a soft opening in April. However, the hotels have yet to operate at 100% occupancy level mainly due to staff shortages.
During SJM Holdings’ recent investment call with analysts, it announced that GLP’s EBITDA loss grew to HKD230 million in Q1 of 2023, from HKD216 million in Q1 of 2022.
BofA Securities analysts said in a note this week that hotel occupancy at GLP is still capped at 70%, but SJM Holdings expects that the property’s 1,892 rooms will be fully operational by the end of the year, with the operator hoping to achieve EBITDA breakeven for GLP in Q3. That’s if the Cotai property manages to get a market share of 2.5%.
For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, SJM Holdings returned to positive EBITDA, reporting HKD31 million in the first three months of the year, reversing an EBITDA loss of HKD474 million in the first quarter of 2022. But that level of recovery still pales in comparison with the other Macau concessionaires, according to JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd.
S&P Upgrades Macau Mass GGR Forecast
Meanwhile, Macau’s mass-market gross gaming revenue (GGR) is recovering well, prompting S&P Global Ratings Inc to upgrade its forecast for the city’s mass GGR this year. The American credit rating agency now expects Macau’s mass GGR to recover to around 75% to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, compared to its previous forecast of 60%.
Macau casinos are recovering faster than expected in terms of visitation and GGR, and are likely to achieve full recovery in 2024, according to S&P.