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Marina Bay Sands reports Q2 loss of US$113m; expansion project 'likely' delayed

Marina Bay Sands reports Q2 loss of US$113m; expansion project 'likely' delayed

FILE PHOTO: The Marina Bay Sands integrated resort lights up in tribute to the healthcare workers and people staying home to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore, April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE: Marina Bay Sands (MBS) has reported an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) loss of US$113 million in the second quarter of 2020, a period that coincided with Singapore's COVID-19 "circuit breaker" period.

The figure is in contrast with the US$346 million EBITDA profit it made between April and June 2019, according to an earnings call presentation by parent company Las Vegas Sands on Wednesday (Jul 22).

Las Vegas Sands chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson said in a conference call that delays in the MBS expansion project were "likely to occur" due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ: Singapore’s two integrated resorts set to grow with S$9 billion investment plan

"We remain excited to be a part of Singapore's continued growth as a leading leisure and business tourism destination. We continue to make progress on the MBS expansion," said Mr Adelson.

But he added: "We believe that delays in the timing of the project are likely to occur. These delays are principally related to the impact of the pandemic and we will provide additional updates in the future as conditions are continuing to evolve.

"In advance of the expansion, we will also continue to reinvest in MBS to enhance the customer experience and the tourism appeal of the resort."

The announcement comes in the wake of Genting-owned Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) laying off employees as part of cost-cutting measures last week. 

An aerial rendering of the Marina Bay Sands expansion. (Image: Las Vegas Sands)

MBS employs more than 10,000 workers as of 2019.

In the second quarter of 2020, its total revenue plunged 96.7 per cent to US$23 million from US$688 million last year.

The resort closed when Singapore's circuit breaker kicked in on Apr 7.

READ: Retrenchments in tourism industry are 'inevitable' without resumption of mass market travel - Chan Chun Sing

READ: S$45 million tourism campaign launched urging locals to explore Singapore

Some retailers and restaurants at MBS resumed operations at reduced capacity in compliance with safe distancing measures on Jun 19 - the first day of Phase 2 of Singapore's reopening, following the lifting of the circuit breaker on Jun 2.

The casino reopened on Jul 1, also with its capacity reduced, while the hotel has been housing guests on stay-home notices in Towers 2 and 3.

It has begun accepting "limited" bookings in Tower 1, catering to locals on staycation. 

READ: Singapore hotels look to woo staycationers with promotions, COVID-19 safety measures

Commentary: I used to think a staycation was a poor alternative for being overseas. Then I took one

Singapore's two integrated resorts announced a major expansion of their non-gaming offerings last year.

MBS's US$3.3 billion expansion would include a 15,000-seat performance arena and a fourth tower featuring about 1,000 hotel rooms, a sky roof with a swimming pool and a restaurant.

There would also be new ballrooms, exhibition halls and luxury retailers.

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Source: CNA/jt(rw)


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