Wynn Resorts reports record first-quarter cash flow despite slump in Macao

Wynn and Encore on the Las Vegas Strip. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Wynn Resorts Ltd. posted record first-quarter cash flow in Las Vegas and Boston, and executives remain confident that Macao figures eventually will rebound.

The company reported first-quarter revenue of $953.3 million, up 29.4 percent from $736.7 million in the same quarter last year. It also reported lower net income losses, $183.3 million, down from $281 million in the first quarter of 2021.

Executives with the Las Vegas company that operates Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor said that like other casino operators across the country, they saw weak results in January as a result of the omicron variant. But results gradually improved later in the quarter and are on an even better pace heading into the second quarter.

“We actually hit 91 percent hotel occupancy in March, which contributed to an all-time record cash flow result during the month,” Wynn Resorts Ltd. CEO Craig Billings said in an earnings call with investors Tuesday. “We’re seeing no signs of a slowdown.”

U.S. properties strong

Like their peers in Macao, results at the three Wynn properties in the Chinese enclave are suffering through major visitation downturns as a result of border closures and community lockdowns throughout China stemming from COVID-19 policies.

“Our first-quarter results reflect continued strength at both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor where our teams’ unrelenting focus on five-star hospitality and world-class experiences combined with very strong customer demand to deliver a new first quarter record for adjusted property cash flow at both properties,” Billings said. “In Macao, we remain confident that the market will benefit from the return of visitation when travel restrictions subside.”

Billings said Wynn invested in the Las Vegas properties during some of the rough COVID times.

“Everyone on this call knows that Las Vegas as a market has experienced a rapid rebound over the last year or so,” he said. “We certainly have been a beneficiary of that. We’re also benefiting from our own efforts over the past few years. Even during difficult times, we invested in our people and our product. We opened Delilah (a restaurant). We completed a refresh of the lounges adjacent to the Lake of Dreams. We opened Casa Playa (another restaurant) and we remodeled the Wynn tower rooms.

“We looked at every inch of this market-leading property and asked ourselves how can we make it better? How can we make it return more? It’s dedication to our craft that makes us incredibly proud and what drives enduring results.”

Project design taking shape

Billings also updated progress on its resort planned in the United Arab Emirates and told investors the company is interested in developing a casino in New York.

“We’ve moved quickly into design on our project in the UAE and I grow more excited about the opportunity with each iteration of that design,” he said. “The island, which is really a blank canvas for us, presents amazing opportunities to do what we do best. From offshore large-scale water and light spectacles akin to the Lake of Dreams in Las Vegas to a room product that takes advantage of the unique aspects of the site setting. I’m confident we’re going to deliver something special to a market that is prime for a luxury experience.”

In response to an investor’s question, Billings discussed the company’s interest in New York, where it could potentially compete with MGM Resorts International and Las Vegas Sands Corp. for a casino license.

“We’re interested in any gateway city that is conducive to the scale and quality of development that Wynn Resorts does, so we are interested in New York and we’re active there, but not in a position yet to talk about anything in particular,” he said.

Wynn stock, traded on the Nasdaq exchange, climbed 32 cents, 0.5 percent, to close at $61.65 a share on trading about twice the normal average volume. After hours, shares fell 65 cents, 1 percent, to end at around $61 a share.

The Review-Journal is owned by the Adelson family, including Dr. Miriam Adelson, majority shareholder of Las Vegas Sands Corp., and Las Vegas Sands President and COO Patrick Dumont.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.