Galaxy back in the black for 2021 but has no immediate plan to acquire satellite casinos

Galaxy Entertainment Group recorded nearly HK$1.33 billion in profit in 2021. (Allin photo)

Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group (27) recorded nearly HK$1.33 billion in profit in 2021 after making a HK$3.97-billion loss in the pandemic-stricken year of 2020, according to the company’s filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Wednesday (23 February).

Galaxy Entertainment also announced that the firm would be paying a special dividend of HK$0.30 per share, payable on April 29.

The firm’s gaming and entertainment segment’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was HK$2.69 billion for 2021, compared to a loss of HK$1.99 billion on adjusted EBITDA for 2020.

The firm operates its flagship Galaxy Macau integrated resort on the Cotai Strip, and StarWorld Hotel on the Macau peninsula, as well as providing gaming licensing for three satellite venues in the city.

As the future of satellite casinos has become one of the major highlights in the amendment of Macau’s gaming law, speculations about whether Galaxy Entertainment will buy out its satellite venues at Waldo Hotel, President Hotel and Rio Hotel are increasingly gripping the attention of industry observers.

But according to Lui Yiu Tung, vice chairman of Galaxy Entertainment, it was too early to talk about any acquisition plan since there would be enough time to tackle the issue of satellite casinos during the three-year grace period as provided in the amendment bill.

Lui made the comments on Wednesday during an online press conference on the firm’s 2021 financial results.

He added that the re-tendering process for Macau’s gaming concessions could start in the second half of this year, and he had heard from the Macau government that the extension of the current licences was being considered.

The current six gaming concessions, including Galaxy’s, are expiring on June 26.

Meanwhile Lui Yiu Tung reiterated at the press conference that his firm had ceased all operations of VIP gaming rooms, and the move had negligible impact on the firm’s earnings as Galaxy had gradually shifted its focus to the mass market over the past few years.