Las Vegas Sands posts first-quarter loss on coronavirus woes

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Las Vegas Sands Corp is pictured at the Japan IR EXPO in Yokohama, Japan January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

(Reuters) – Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N) posted a loss for the first quarter compared to a year-ago profit, as the coronavirus pandemic slammed gaming revenue at the casino operator.

The industry, which thrives on air travel and large groups of people in close proximity, is one of the hardest hit as the world goes into lockdown in its battle against the pandemic.

“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business has been unprecedented, and I have never seen anything like it in my over seventy years in business,” Chief Executive Officer Sheldon Adelson said in a statement.

Revenue from the company’s main casino business plunged 55.8% to $1.18 billion, with declines across all of its businesses, including rooms as well as food and beverage.

In March, revenue fell 80% in Macau, the world’s biggest casino hub that accounts for more than 60% of the company’s revenue.

The S&P 500 casinos and gaming index .SPLRCCCGL has lost 49% this year, compared to the 13.4% dip in the S&P 500 .SPX.

Net loss attributable to Las Vegas Sands was $1 million in the quarter ended March 31, compared to a profit of $582 million a year ago.

Net revenue plunged 51.1% to $1.78 billion.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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