Galaxy best-positioned gaming operator to increase market share in post-pandemic recovery – Brokerage

Lack of net debt and planned Cotai property expansions place Galaxy Entertainment Group (GEG) is in a prime position for post-pandemic recovery, analysts from Sanford C. Bernstein posited in a note.

‘While all of Macau was severely impacted in 2020, Galaxy was the only operator that did not raise capital due to its net debt-free balance sheet. Looking forward, Galaxy is prime positioned to be a market share gainer with the opening of Galaxy Macau Phase 3 later this year and with the opening of Galaxy Macau Phase 4 in 2024,’ the brokerage indicated.

As the pandemic progressed, several gaming concessionaires made serval senior note issues and other capital raising activities to fund property expansion projects and help face the gaming and tourism revenue downturn.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, GEG reported a 229 per cent quarter-on-quarter rise in revenues to HK$5.1 billion (US$655.8 million), with some HK$1 billion in Adjusted EBITDA.

Opening in the second half of 2021 the Phase 3 expansion will include the Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC), an event venue with a total MICE space of 40,000 square meters for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

An Andaz Macau with over 700 rooms, lounge, a bar and restaurant, fitness center and an indoor pool, and a 16,000-seat Galaxy Arena for world-tour concerts and spectacular large-scale sporting events are also included in the project.

A HK$13.5 billion construction contract has also already been granted by GEG to China State Construction International Holdings Ltd for Phase 4 of its Cotai expansion

“[GEG] is set to continue to gain momentum in mass and premium mass with its new product offerings and capitalize on the continued growth of China’s premium consuming class,” Bernstein added.

Meanwhile, local gross gaming revenues have increased by 13.6 per cent in March 2021 from the previous month to about MOP8.3 billion, as visitor numbers registered in the city recovered to almost 50,000 per day last month.

“Base mass player visitation will increase as visas and travel connectivity normalize. Those operators with scale to accommodate base will benefit later this year (i.e., Galaxy and Sands in particular). Galaxy is the second largest operator in Mass GGR market share in Macau and by Mass table yield performance,’ the brokerage noted.

Bernstein estimates that by 2022, Macau mass-market gaming revenue will be 10 per cent higher than in 2019 when it reached MOP292.5 billion, with Galaxy taking market share from 13 per cent to 14.7 per cent and continuing to 16.8 per cent by 2025