Las Vegas Sands (ticker: LVS), owner and operator of casinos in both Las Vegas, and Macau, China, released Q4 earning yesterday. President and COO Bill Weidner discussed his
company's Chinese operation on his Q4 2004 results
conference call. Key quotes:
On LVS's latest construction in China:
....we began construction of Asia's only complete Las-Vegas-style mega resort, the 10.5 million-square-foot Venetian Macao.
On its China gaming growth:
....Macao trends continue upward unabated. Our gaming growth for last year was over 40%. That's over $5 billion U.S. October, November and December, 39, 23, 38 percent-style growth rates.
On the Chinese government's easing of travel restrictions:
....and the mainland Chinese government continues to support its policy of fueling Hong Kong and Macau with mainland Chinese visitors. And that direction was reaffirmed just last month, where the announcement was made by the Tourism Vice bureau chief that they will expand what they call their FIT program.
That's the Facilitated Individual Travel program, whereby residents of selected mainland cities and provinces are allowed to go to Hong Kong and Macau without a visa.
The Tourism Vice bureau chief announced that on the opening of Disney, which is in September, that many more cities will be added to that list of the FIT program.
On the Chinese New Year effect:
....what we find in Chinese new years here in Las Vegas, that most visitors from China come for just about the entire 14, 15 days of the Chinese New Year celebration. There in China, closer to home, the first four days, four to five days, are very family oriented.
(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)