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Shares in MGM China fell as much as 3.7 per cent in early Friday trading after fourth quarter results failed to show a strong recovery at its Macau casinos as mass-market revenue slipped.

MGM China reported fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 5.5 per cent year on year to HK$1.19bn ($152m), but fell 3.8 per cent for the full year to HK$4.49bn.

Total revenue for the casino company’s Macau operations posted a slight year-on-year increase of 0.3 per cent to HK$3.89bn in the fourth quarter. While revenue from VIP tables increased 7 per cent for the period, main floor table games revenue fell 2 per cent.

MGM Resorts International, the company’s US-listed parent, closed down 9.3 per cent in New York on Thursday.

Macau’s casinos are still recovering from a two-year slump following a crackdown on corruption in mainland China, which frightened off high rollers and saw gaming revenue in the Chinese territory fall for the first time in 2014. Gaming companies have been turning their focus to mass market by providing more family-friendly resorts.

The Chinese territory reported a 3.1 per cent rise in gambling revenue in January at $2.4bn, marking a sixth straight month of growth after a more than two-year slump.

MGM rival Melco Crown Entertainment, which operates three resorts in Macau, reported a mixed picture across its properties on lower rolling chip revenues and lower mass-market table games revenue, seeing its stock close down 4.5 per cent in the US.

Ebitda had slipped 2 per cent at Melco’s City of Dreams property to $188.7m in the three months to December as ebitda fell 66 per cent at the Altira Macau to $3.3m.

Melco’s Studio City, which opened in October 2015 and is focused on the mass market, reported improved ebitda in the fourth quarter of $56.7m – though that rise was primarily due to the fact that it was not fully operational a year earlier.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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