Categories Earnings Call Transcripts, Leisure & Entertainment

Las Vegas Sands Corp (NYSE: LVS) Q1 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

LVS Earnings Call - Final Transcript

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS) Q1 2020 earnings call dated April 22, 2020

Corporate Participants:

Daniel Brigg — Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Analysts:

Joe Greff — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

Thomas Allen — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Steve Wieczynski — Stifel — Analyst

Shaun Kelley — Bank of America — Analyst

Stephen Grambling — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Harry Curtis — Instinet — Analyst

David Katz — Jefferies — Analyst

Presentation:

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing, by and welcome to the Las Vegas Sands First Quarter 2020 Earnings Call. [Operator Instructions] After the speakers’ presentation, there will be a question-and-answer session. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to hand the conference over to Mr. Daniel Briggs. Thank you. Please go ahead.

Daniel Brigg — Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Thank you very much. Joining me on the call today are Sheldon Adelson, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Rob Goldstein, our President and Chief Operating Officer; and Patrick Dumont, our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Before I turn the call over to Mr. Adelson, please let me remind you that today’s conference call will contain forward-looking statements that we are making under the Safe Harbor provision of federal securities laws. The company’s actual results could differ materially from the anticipated results in those forward-looking statements. In addition, we may discuss non-GAAP measures. A definition and a reconciliation of each of these measures to the most comparable GAAP financial measures is included in the press release.

Please note that we have posted supplementary earnings slides on our Investor Relations website. We may refer to those slides during the Q&A portion of the call. Finally, for those who would like to participate in the question-and-answer session, we ask that you please respect our request to limit yourself to one question and one follow-up question, so we might allow everyone with interest the opportunity to participate. Please note that this presentation is being recorded.

With that, let me please turn the call over to Mr. Adelson.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Dan. Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for joining us today. I hope all of you, your friends and families are in good health during these challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my business career. While this pandemic brings many challenges, it also presents each of us with an opportunity to make a difference and to provide assistance to all those who have been impacted. Our company is fortunate to have the financial strength to enable us to focus our efforts on the safety and security of our team members and customers and are making a difference to those in need in each of our host communities of Macao, Singapore and Los Angeles.

We don’t know how long this pandemic will last, but we have confidence that travel and tourism spending in each of our markets and around the world will eventually recover. As surely as day follows night, people will travel again, shop again, come together again to enjoy entertainment and social interaction to exchange ideas and to conduct business. Focusing on the support for our team members and communities today will position us to recover more quickly as the impact of the pandemic eventually subsides and it is also the right thing to do.

Our optimism about an eventual recovery coupled with our financial strength enables us to continue the execution of our previously announced capital investment programs in both Macao and Singapore. We believe these investments will strengthen our leadership position in each of these markets and will provide a larger platform for future growth, as travel and tourism spending eventually recover. Macao, we are making great progress and our USD2.2 billion capital investment program with The Londoner Macao and The Grand Suites at Four Seasons. In addition to these large projects with which you are already familiar, we are moving full speed ahead with a number of other investments which we think will increase both the objectiveness and the diversification of our integrated results portfolio.

Now it’s not the time to pause and slowdown investment in Macao. We see the opportunity and possess both the financial strength and the strategic commitment to make additional investments. With our effort to accelerate investment in Macao, we intend to play our part in supporting the local economy in the short-term, and ensure we are in a leading position to capture the eventual recovery in tourism spending. I remain steadfast in my belief that Macao has the opportunity to become one of the greatest business and leisure tourism destinations in the world. And the MICE capital of Asia. As I’ve said on many occasions, we welcome the opportunity to invest billions of dollars in additional investment and contribute to Macao’s diversification and evolution into Asia’s leading leisure and business tourism destination.

Turning to our investment in the expansion of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, we remain excited to being a part of Singapore’s continued growth as a leading business in tourism and leisure tourism destination. We continue to make progress on the MBS expansion and will provide additional updates in the future. We will also continue to reinvest in Marina Bay Sands to enhance the customer experience in advance of the expansion.

Finally, turning to Las Vegas, eventual recovery could take more time here than in Asia, so we are confident that Las Vegas’ best days are ahead of it, that Las Vegas will remain the greatest leisure business tourism destination in the United States.

Let me now spend a moment on capital allocation. Maintaining a strong balance sheet makes great businesses, while we weather the storm caused by this pandemic. Balance sheet strength will enable us to invest in promising future growth opportunities and will position the accounted company to deliver industry-leading growth in the years ahead.

While we have suspended our dividend program, we remain confident that the recovery in travel and tourism spending and the strength of our business model will enable us to deliver both growth and the return of capital to shareholders in the future. I assure you I have not said yay dividends and yay buybacks for the last time. I’m looking forward to seeing them again, and hopefully very soon.

Thank you for joining us on the call today. And now, we’ll take questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Joe Greff with J.P. Morgan. You may now ask your question.

Joe Greff — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Good afternoon, everybody.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Good afternoon. Hi, Joe.

Joe Greff — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

And hope all of you are and your families are well and healthy. So my first question relates to, I guess, the things that we would call, in Macao travel impediments or restrictions, IVS, airlift, ferry, the quarantine in position by Guangdong. I know this is a tough question, but do you have a sense of when those things start to get relaxed? And then maybe more importantly than timing on those four bucket, but more on how those things will eventually roll out?

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

I can only — this is Sheldon. I can only quote some of the rumors that we’ve heard. We have nothing positive, nothing definite, but the rumors we’ve heard that it’s going to start in sometime the middle or end of May.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Joe, I’ll just elaborate a bit, I think, to Sheldon’s point. We follow the same sources you do, perhaps ours is a little better. We do believe there’ll be some opening May perhaps or June, we’re hopeful. But as you know, won’t be a flick of the switch and it’s all different timing to which provinces, we’re hoping for, first the IVS is reinstated, that’s pivotal. And then the 14-day quarantine for re-entry into China is equally important, as you know. I think the idea is the first place — in the 14-day quarantine, the first place we’ll see some bright lights would be in Guangdong, and then provinces will follow throughout the summer. It won’t be one flick of the switch at all provinces open equally. I think though this, as you know, Guangdong is pivotal. Once that’s open, it opens the door for others to follow. There will be a gradual process.

And the one thing, we are grateful for is that the majority of our income is derived from Asia, which as you know, has been to these situations, be it SARS or be it swine flu or in the past and more conversant with the problems. And so we think the recovery there is going to be back to gambling, back to visitation, will come rather quickly, but it will come in gradual phases throughout the summer. It will be Guangdong and then other provinces to follow. Airlift may be still muted for a while in terms of how much, but I think trains will be running. We feel pretty confident we’ll be back to a much better place this summer, and then a much better place in the fall. And we have seen evidence of pent-up demand like crazy from our customers who were asking when, and we talked them pretty regularly. So feel pretty good about the return in Macao first far beyond what we’re going to see in the US.

Joe Greff — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Excellent. Great. And then, just another question related to Macao, and maybe this is a question for Patrick or Dan on the call. Thank you for including in the slide deck the monthly opex for Macao were $110 million. How much of that $110 million relates to the premium and base mass. And so in other words, when those segments come back, you’re looking at incremental margins much higher than, say, the 35% to 36% that the margins are overall. So in other words, what would those margins be it at 35% plus be with — without those fixed charges that you’re currently sustaining without much revenue growth or much revenues?

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Hey, Joe, it’s Patrick. Thanks for the question. I think if you look back at our margin over the last couple of years as the premium mass and mass business grew, those margin areas are probably appropriate for recovery under normal run rate conditions. And so if you think about our expenses broken into categories, our largest expense is really gaming tax which is variable followed by our payroll, which is not. And then a whole host of other things related to property operations, fixed-property costs and things related to just general consumables. And so some of those things are variables, but it would be very hard to characterize and say a particular market segment would result when it started back in, call it higher margins because of this trough.

And I think the way to think about it is we’ve been very focused on managing towards margins over the last couple of years anyway. And so the team there and through our work together, we’ve been very focused on increasing our cash flow as we grew revenue in higher margin segments. So I don’t think you should look at a rebound through a particular segment and say that will expand margins, I think what you can do is take a look at this, and say, our business already had plenty of leverage in it. We have plenty of liquidity to manage through this very difficult time.

And then when things do rebound, we will continue to be focused on margins as we were before, and look to control the cost that we can control. And I think to look at it on a segment basis would be difficult, because in reality, we have to open the properties. And so we’re going to have strength in every segment. I’d like to believe that when things recover, we’re going to get to see that strength that we saw in 2019 and 2018 the years before we had a great trajectory heading into 2020. And I’d like to believe that we’ll continue to maintain a very strong operating leverage that we had on a run rate basis when things recover.

Joe Greff — J.P. Morgan — Analyst

Great. Thank you so much, guys.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Joe.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Felicia Hendrix with Barclays. You may now ask your question.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

Hi. Thank you so much. Great to hear you all. And Sheldon definitely wanted to thank you and the company for all the — that all you’ve done to get important PPE to the healthcare workers out there. So, Patrick just…

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

[Speech Overlap] I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

I just — I was thanking you for all that you and the company have done to get the important PPE to healthcare workers.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Great. Thank you.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

Yeah. Thank you.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

We’re still doing it. We got the planes — we have set four more 747 trips that go to China to pick up more of the masks and PPEs. So listen, something we do like that potentially saves the lives, and it’s nothing for us, particularly the fuel, the cost of fuel is nothing. So we could just fly over there and come back at a very low cost.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

That’s great. Patrick, just to stay on the topic of the opex and the monthly cash burn, one of the things that we’ve kind of struggled with as we’ve tried to model in a gradual recovery is kind of had a flex that cash burn. So obviously you’re not going to go from $110 million back to your full run rate, right. It’s going to ramp up. So is the right way to think about it is just kind of like — and I know most of it’s, a lot of it’s variable. So the way we’re thinking that is like to just kind of like pro rata, like run it, rate it [Phonetic] versus in terms of how like you’re ramping up. So, is that the right way to think about it? And more importantly, I’m wondering as you’ve kind of worked to really mitigate costs as you’ve been in almost like shutdown mode, are there things that are going to kind of stick or are there going to be cost mitigations — cost mitigation efforts that you’ve made now that are going to benefit you in the future?

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, kind of a two-part question there. I appreciate the detail. I think the way to think about margin recovery is that when you look at sort of call it our uncontrolled operating expenses, call it across ’19 that represent a little bit more than 60% of our total expense structure. And so when you think about that and when you think about sort of our controlling operating expenses that was kind of in the 38% context. And so what you’ll see is that those uncontrollable expenses, which are mostly gaming tax, which actually was about 60% of that — of that a little more than 60%, it’s about 60% of that is gaining tax. That’s really going to drive the way the margins look because we will start getting operating leverage. So if you think about that other 38% that’s controllable, some of that is variable, our payroll although you’d say that it was something that is under control, we’ve taken the doctor and that we want to keep our team together. And so that’s something that we’re very focused on.

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So when you think of our two largest expenses as the gaming tax and as the payroll, you can kind of walk into what that margin might look like during this, call it, transition period of ramp up. So, well, we run, call it, 33% EBITDA margins. We’re running before right out of the gate, unless there is an immediate snap back recovery that might be a little challenge. But when you look at the expenses that we have controlled and you look at the marketing expenses and the way that we look at the other parts of the business, we’ve been able to control costs in a very disciplined way. We went — the business has experienced other troughs before, and we’ve always managed expenses to ensure liquidity and to ensure the proper recovery when it comes around.

And so I think, are there some margin opportunities? Sure. But I think also depends on what segment comes back and when, as you know that the junket segment is obviously much lower margin and less contribution providing then the mass and premium mass segment. So if we get huge volumes of mass business, our margins will go with tremendous right out of the gate. So I think for us a lot of it depends on what segment of the business, you call the recovery on first. So I think given that expense structure, given your view that you may have on recovery of the business, you can kind of formulate a transitional margin process for the business.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

Okay. That’s really helpful. Thank you. And Patrick this is probably also for you as well. Obviously, you guys have been doing a lot of stress testing on the company, led you to the dividend decision. Just wondering how deeply have the stress tests cut into the liquidity cushion? And would you be willing to take on more debt? And if so, where would you see that maxing out and then what milestones would you have to reach to reinstate the dividend?

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So I’ll leave the last part of the question for the Chairman, since that’s really something that falls to him. But I think the key thing for us here is that as we’ve mentioned before in prior earnings calls, is we’re very focused on looking at liquidity of the company, very focused on looking at the long-term objectives of the Chairman. Our highest and best use of capital is reinvestment in high-growth projects. And if you look at our track record on return on invested capital and the projects that our Chairman has led, it’s tremendous. And so our goal is to preserve that liquidity and also to continue to invest in our key markets to drive that high ROIC. And so if you look at the Chairman’s notes and the strategy he did laid out, we are continuing to invest in these markets to ensure that we get the high returns going forward when the market does recover.

That being said, we look at a variety of scenarios. We have a lot of different downside cases, a lot of different liquidity scenarios, a lot from different capex scenarios, so that we ensure we can analyze things to satisfactory ways the Board feels comfortable making a decision with the Chairman. And that’s what we’ve done here. So if you look at Page 8 in the deck, you can see that we’ve laid out the cash and available liquidity. You can see that right now under the current conditions as we’ve presented them, we can go more than 18 months. So — and invest in completing the projects in Macao and continue along with Marina Bay Sands’ new developments. And so that’s very encouraging for us. We feel very strong about our balance sheet position. Our Board feels very confident on our ability to weather the storm.

And that being said, if for some reason, we felt like we needed access to the capital markets, we spend a lot of time working to ensure that we had access to the most deep and most liquid market in the world, which is the high-grade bond market. And so as an investment grade company, the investment grade bond market opens very quickly after the impacts of coronavirus hit the capital markets and issuers do have access. And we feel very comfortable in our ability, we feel great about the high-grade market, and at some point if the Board makes a determination with management that it makes sense to raise additional liquidity, we will have the ability to do so. We’re very confident about that. But at this time, we’re very comfortable with our liquidity on hand. We’ve shown the analysis on Page 8. And we’re looking forward to a strong recovery, so we can benefit from the huge capex developments that we’ve been undertaking during this time.

And then one last question, I think the second part of that, was that you directed something that would probably best be answered by the Chairman, which is kind of view on dividends and when the dividends may come back and what that looks like. And so that’s okay, Sheldon I will turn the call back to you.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Patrick. We will reinstate the dividend after discussing with our Board of Directors. When things get back to where we were, it’s very simple, I don’t think it’s a long-time away. If the rumors are Macao is a big percentage of our — the both GGR, gross gaming income and our EBITDA. And I think that is a level we will come back first. Then probably Singapore and Vegas in that order perhaps. So if — what Rob says is true, that people are dying in anxious to get back to no, we don’t want to die, get back to Macao to enjoy themselves, then it should come back sooner rather than later. Listen, I’m the largest shareholder; my family and I. And we want the dividend instated — reinstated more than you do. So if you could see the amount of money that we’re not getting, we certainly like to have that in our savings account. So we’ll reinstate the dividend as soon as we get back to earning some money.

Felicia Hendrix — Barclays — Analyst

Okay. Thank you very much.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

You’re welcome. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Thomas Allen with Morgan Stanley. You may now ask your question.

Thomas Allen — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Thank you. So I think we’re all trying to figure out what the business is going to look like in the future when things come back. Macao reopened at the end of February and there were a couple of weeks before the travel restrictions went to place in Guangdong and got stricter Macao. Can you just qualitatively talk to us about where business was like been and how social distancing measures impacted your business? And on a similar vein, can you just talk about how Singapore was performing? I know you put the monthly numbers on Slide 7, but just qualitatively how social distancing measures were impacting Singapore during the time period before it closed? Thank you.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Thomas, it’s Rob. I think in Singapore, social distancing was — it did have an impact because we’re limited there in terms of size of the operation. And I think, we’ll have an impact on Singapore in the future. Question is how long those social distancing in parallel [Phonetic] stay in place and we just don’t know, but it will have an impact, a negative in terms of Singapore. In Macao, I think we’re in a much different position because the scale and size of operations enables us to — we have so much square footage there and so many more slots and tables that I think we can do much better business in Macao than Singapore vis-a-vis social distancing.

But I think the areas you talked about the time periods, obliviously impacted not just by social distancing, but demands slowed because it was more difficult to get there and was more concerns about access, and it was a confusing time in both markets in terms of visas, getting in, getting out quarantine. I don’t think it’s an adequate snapshot when the rebound comes. I think once in Macao we open the doors back up in the 14-day quarantine and the IVS team is back in place, I think we’ll be able to do quite well and the social distance will have a minimal impact in Macao. Again, the size of skilled operations in the numerous table slots than in square footage.

I think in Singapore, we have a lot of demand. I spoke to team this morning, and they were laughing about the amount of people calling to complain about that were closed may want to come gamble. I do believe we’ll see a lot of demand in Singapore. I am concerned that may have a negative impact. I cannot tell you obviously what that will be, but I think we’ll have more demand come this summer, especially come fall and Singapore could be adversely impacted by social distancing. So it remains to be same.

Thomas Allen — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Thanks, Rob. And then just as my follow up, when you announced the dividend cut in the prepared comments you said missiles [Phonetic] and I think you wrote, I see many strategic opportunities for our company precisely because of our financial strength. Could we just get some more detail on this comment? I think some people are interpreting it to imply that you’d be interested in M&A. Is that the right perception? I think Patrick talked about high-growth opportunities early, I just wanted to clarify those comments.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

I’d like to reaffirm what you’re thinking. It does mean that we’re interested in M&A. One of the reasons why we’re the biggest — we’ve got the best balance sheet in the industry, and our market cap, up until this various scheme was equal to the combined market capital of all other competitors in the US combined. So it’s — I’m not going to give up on developing Integrated Resorts. I’m going to add on to our strategic thinking, strategic priorities that we can acquire because most of the other companies, one, don’t have the balance sheet that we do, and they don’t have the potential market that we do. And we can go in and acquire one or more operations that if, of course, the price has to be right. And so I’m now taking on the strategy of both acquiring and building and developing.

Thomas Allen — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

And if I could just quickly follow-up on that, any changes to your views on what markets you’d like to be in?

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Not really, but we’ve always wanted — we’ve always said that Asia is the best place for us because, number one, in this virus shutdowns, the agents have been through this for a long time for several times, so they’re used to it. And when it opens up again, they’re just going to come back and continue maybe in a higher pace to make up for the lost time that they’ve experienced. So Asia has got — the population is the most inclined to play, to gamble than other populations. So it looks like if we can find something good in Asia, we’d certainly like to do that.

Thomas Allen — Morgan Stanley — Analyst

Thank you.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Either to acquire or to build.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Steve Wieczynski with Stifel. You may now ask your question.

Steve Wieczynski — Stifel — Analyst

Yeah. Hey, guys. Good afternoon. Rob, so maybe you can help us think about the Vegas market a little bit at this point. But obviously with what’s going on, you probably have seen a drastic slowdown in convention traffic. But wanted to understand what you’re seeing in terms of the folks who did have convention meetings on the book. Are they willing to re-book at a later date or are they pulling off at this point?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah. Good question. We see a different path, and I guess when you are in Asia, again Sheldon referenced the — not the comfort, but the exposure Asia’s had to the viruses and these kinds of things. As you know, we’re flying to Asia, temperature testing and masks are kind of the way it works over there anyway. So I think that’s the US has never experienced on our shores these kind of thing. So as it relates to the group market, I’m surprised. I just talked to George this morning, who runs our building and George Markantonis, he is seeing strong demand in August from multiple groups and he feel the demand is there.

The question is really airlift into Las Vegas. I don’t know how airlift will look in the next 90 days. I don’t know how the economic impact in terms of how Americans will spend money to think about being here. But Group business appears to be out there for August and into the fall. They’re not canceling the ’21, they are re-booking into late summer and fall. I think demands there as I spoke to our competitors, the same thinking applies there.

I don’t think Vegas has a problem with getting Bruce [Phonetic] back into place if we have the proper social distancing, the proper etiquette in place to protect people. And I think that’s going to be like — it looked like Asia, which is a lot of social distancing, a lot of controls to make sure it’s the safe as we can make it, cleanliness and etc. But apparently George thinks the demand is there, and I’ve heard that from multiple companies in town. I thought they will push back in ’21, but they have it. It’s August, September, October, November, pretty strong demand. So I think…

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

So I can tell you’re coming from that business, and myself, this is Sheldon. They can’t — a lot of the companies, both private and association wise are relying upon their shows to expand their own businesses and to do what it is they usually do to show research, recoupment, etc. And so they don’t want to give up on that. It’s not — we can only have — we can only have it at this time, we can — if we don’t have it at this time, we’re not going to ever have it again. That’s not the case at all. They will have it and make up for the loss of time as soon as they possibly can.

Steve Wieczynski — Stifel — Analyst

Okay. Got you. And then, Patrick, you gave a lot of color around the dividend, the dividend cut, and maybe this is for you or Sheldon, but was there ever a thought, I mean, it seems like your liquidity position is very strong, your balance sheet is very strong. Was there ever the thought of keeping some small dividend in place just maybe keep a little bit of a different investor base included in your stock for the time being or was there always just kind of a 100% cut or keep it?

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Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

This is not — this is Sheldon. We haven’t eliminated the dividend, we just suspended it. And yes, we could come down to a cut rather than a total suspension. We’ll see what happens out first with opened places and what kind of income we’re going to experience. Listen, we’re all in the same boat. As I said, I own the largest amount of stuff, my family and I, of anybody in — of anybody, and I want to see that dividend recover and to maintain it as long as possible.

Steve Wieczynski — Stifel — Analyst

Okay. Great. Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Welcome.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Shaun Kelley with Bank of America. You may now ask your question.

Shaun Kelley — Bank of America — Analyst

Hi. Good afternoon, and want to echo the sentiments that I hope everybody is safe and healthy. Just wanted to follow up on maybe the Singapore recovery because this market is — it’s relatively unique to Las Vegas Sands. I appreciate all the extra color and disclosure you gave there. Can you maybe, Rob, give us a little bit more color on just sort of the current customer mix there and how you expect maybe that to trend as Asia kind of reopens maybe between kind of your VIP customers and a little bit of the mass market there. Where is it coming from? And how do you think the source markets are going to react, just in that market?

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yeah. While currently as you know, the customer mix there is zero, since we’re closed till June 1. The team is pretty confident that we’ll get open in June. Doesn’t very much concerned that it would be extended beyond this. They seem like they can. Have you saw the Journal this morning? The majority of the problem is in the — has been isolated. And I think Paul and Andrew, and all the guys there told me this morning, they feel pretty comp we open in June. So local market was thriving and they think will thrive in fact they were chuckling about the amount of people calling to complain that they couldn’t gamble. We feel pretty confident the local market will bounce back immediately, and be pretty strong actually, because it’s — activity people enjoy being part of in Singapore, and we’re very confident that rebounds really quickly on June 2.

The local market, vis-a-vis foreign local market, meaning, Indonesia and Malaysia are not too strong on because I think that those countries are facing challenges. I’m not sure the borders will even be opened to those people, but I feel less aggressive in terms of rebound of our local market thus far, and meaning again the countries nearby. Indonesia and Malaysia bit of struggle right now. I think we will be slow to see that return. I think we’ll be quick to see return from China, if we get open, the borders open and the Chinese were able to come. I think that will cover other quickly. I think Singapore becomes positive right away in June and then ramps up throughout the summer. But it will miss some key elements of local foreign markets surrounding in the neighborhood. I don’t think Malaysia or Indonesia will be simple to get back to Singapore for the summer.

I do think China and local play will be strong. I know local play will be strong because it drove our business prior to closing, and we hear anecdotally that people are really frustrated and want to go back to gamble in the casinos. And also as you mentioned, Shaun, you know, you’ve been [Indecipherable] enough that the idea of wearing a mask or social distancing or thermometer checks will not be difficult for the customers in local Singaporeans nor Chinese visitors. They’ll accept it, they’ll deal with it, and as you know, the high-end Baccarat business anyways people on a room is two or three in a large room. So no problem there.

The only thing I’m concerned about is, if we get into a mass business, there again quickly is what we may lose them. The spread can be difficult vis-a-vis the main gaming floor because we’ll be social distancing our slot machines, etc. But once again, like a lot of markets, we had a lot of very high-end play both slot ETG and table, I think we accommodate. We may be at risks related to masses of people coming in and the slot machines, not having enough capacity and same with tables mass. No risk on high end [Technical Issues] risk on the mass.

And again I think Singapore is going to be like Macao, quick to recover, unlike the US, which I think is more drastic and slower. Their ability to acclimate to this environment has improved in the past. They lived through SARS, they lived through swine flu, they’ve lived for a lot of things, and they always going to come back and they come back much quickly anticipate. So, we feel bullish with the caveat that our foreign business around us, our neighborhood foreign business might be pushed back until the fall and not be there. We feel strongly our high-end Chinese business will recover rather quickly. We know it will because the demand is there.

Shaun Kelley — Bank of America — Analyst

Great. Really appreciate all the detail on that, Rob. And then sort of the other way to split out the trajectory of recovery in Macao. I think, you talked a little bit about the restrictions there and the difficult read in March. But did you see for what we were abled to see in March. I mean, was it really that VIP was the only thing or was the primary market was available at that time just given the broader travel restrictions. Is that kind of the way to read the data that we have thus far? Is that kind of a little bit of what you saw in that market, just so we can characterize it for investors?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Yeah, I wish I can give you better color, but we just saw such a turn down in terms of — the business has turned out. People — I read these things that the high-end — people come back first to the premium mass, then come back to the mass, mass. I don’t think, we saw evidence that in those two weeks. I think, it was so confusing and restrictions, etc. I just don’t think there was good evidence of what’s going to happen in the future. What I do believe is that China is going back to work. They’re going back to travel. And when the IVS and the 14-day quarantine are taken away, I think all segments come back and come back rather healthy. I think by — by late summer, early fall, we’re going to see some nice profitability out of our Asia properties.

By late fall, by Thanksgiving or October, I think, you’ll see very strong return to a better time over there. We feel just extremely confident that Asia is better quicker. And you’re seeing a already in China with the travel restrictions being eased. What I don’t know is the province by province access into Macao, how that will happen. But it will happen. And I think there has been a strong claim made by the Macao government to get started. They’re hoping to see the restrictions ease. I just don’t think the two weeks could be really a strong indicator of how it’s going to come back. I think, it was back across all segments. I’m not a believer, it’s just going to be the high end. I believe it’s going to be plenty of mass people as well.

Shaun Kelley — Bank of America — Analyst

Thanks, Rob. The optimism is definitely refreshing. So I appreciate it.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Thank you. We’re optimistic. The world will recover.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Stephen Grambling with Goldman Sachs. You may now ask your question.

Stephen Grambling — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Hi. Good afternoon. I’d like to tell the well wishes to all of you and your families and also for [Indecipherable] on the personal protective equipment as my wife was actually one of those healthcare workers dealing it. So thank you. My first question is a follow-up on the comments around M&A. Can you elaborate on the guidelines that may dictate whether you would pursue individual assets versus whole companies? How willing regulators may or may not be to these types of transactions and where you generally would expect the biggest synergy potential?

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Sheldon, do you want to take that? Do you want us to take it here in the office?

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Take it.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Okay. So, it’s Patrick, and thanks for the question. I think, you know, one thing that you should sort of look at in terms of the lens we might examine M&A through is just on the — our long-term views on returns. And so the Chairman has been very strict about the way we deploy capital in order to ensure that we get the right returns to justify things. And that’s always been true in developments and that will certainly be true through M&A — any M&A transaction. And so I think the way we’re thinking about it is, and from the discussions that we’ve had, just around trying to be opportunistic to look and see high quality assets, where — they’re in key markets where it may be cheaper to buy than to build.

And you may find something that is attractive and fits into our overall strategy in the long run. And I think we’re going to be very returns focused. Clearly our industry is heavily regulated and we’re going to have to ensure proper compliance as we always do, and we have to look very carefully at those opportunities in that context. And I think, it’s not as if this is something that will happen immediately. This is going to evolve over time. And we’re going to have an opportunity to take a very hard and disciplined look and see if any of those opportunities are attractive to the Chairman of the Board. And so I think that’s kind of how we’ll think about it.

Stephen Grambling — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thanks. And then maybe a follow-up on Shaun’s question around Marina Bay Sands. You talked to the revenue trajectory, but can you just remind us of the puts and takes that might impact our properties’ margins relative to others as we think about the re-ramp since it looks like you had very solid margins this quarter, and it looks like even the opex per day and the zero revenue is better than peers? Thanks.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So I think overall Marina Bay Sands, the margins in that property are really tremendous. I think a lot of that has to do with the original strategy that goes back to the Chairman’s view that creating a very high quality with Integrated Resorts multi-amenities to the highest level would produce high margins. And you see the results since the history of the opening of the property. That strategy has been spot on. It’s really delivered. It’s been a tremendous asset and it’s driven tourism and is really contributed to the market of Singapore, and I think it’s been great

And I think to Rob’s comments earlier, we know that there’s a lot of pent-up demand and I think the opportunity here for us is to look at it for the long run. I think, we’re very focused on deploying capital there. We have a bunch of projects to help enhance and improve the offering of Marina Bay Sands that we think will be margin enhancing and cash flow enhancing. I think, we’re very focused on the development of Tower 2. The Chairman’s vision there is great, and we’re very excited to get that arena open. We think that will add to the tourism offering of Singapore. We already had some market test about that because we have the — we obviously have the arena in Macao that we operate and it’s a great tourism asset and it works very well with the mass business and premium mass business.

So we see a corollary there in Singapore, where we can drive significant visitation from the rounding catchment area out of that arena. So I think if you look at Singapore over the next couple of years, we’re going to see what we hope is very high value returns on the new deployed capital in a market that continues to maintain very high margin structure. And so while we don’t know exactly the pace of recovery that we will see today, we do know that in the long run, and as Rob said, when things recover because of the demand, we’re going to be poised to take advantage of it and continue to deliver very high margins and strong cash flow. So that’s kind of how we think about it.

Stephen Grambling — Goldman Sachs — Analyst

Thanks so much for all the color and perspective. Best of luck.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Carlo Santarelli with Deutsche Bank. You may now ask your question.

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Hey. Thank you, and thanks everyone for the comments. I think this was probably best for you as you think about kind of the near to medium-term, and maybe make the assumption that specifically in Macao, I would imagine the two sub-segments of your gaming business will ramp at different speeds. Did you rather just strategically at all, just to maybe give business a little bit more towards a VIP customer that might be more pronounced or not or do not see it that way?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

We had a little problem hearing. Are you saying — we couldn’t catch all that, but you’re saying that do you think VIP is going to ramp much quicker than mass?

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Well, I’m asking, if that is your opinion, and then if you came [Phonetic] in your business at all differently. So I just kind of want your perspective on that?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

No, we’re not — we’re not going to think that way. We believe the mass premium — we believe the pent-up demand is real in all segments. And if anything, I think it would be a mistake to think that way. We believe this is going to open up to a lot of business come this summer and the fall. The social distance, we have to work through. But I think Asians and Chinese as they open that market up, open that country up, as those quarantine barriers come down and the IVS comes up, I do think we’re going to see a return in all segments. We’re pretty confident that Macao is also making some money this summer, and a lot of money come fall.

And again I’ll be redundant here, but the Asians — we’ve never seen this kind of a virus on our shores here in the US, we’re kind of taken aback and shell-shocked by it. Asia has seen it numerous times. They understand it. They dealt with it. [Indecipherable] Hong Kong is open and operating and it never closed in terms of retail and restaurants. They’re walking around with gloves and masks and sanitizer and temperature checks. Everything is open in Hong Kong, in terms of the restaurants, retail, and I think their statistics are pretty excellent relative to the rest of the world. They can deal with it and Macao will deal with it. And I think visitation will be — I think it’ll be a mistake to try to handicap, which segment is back first. I think they all come back.

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And we’re pretty anxious to see that happen in the next 60 days with the first phase, and then, hopefully by late summer really kicks in all the way. Our job is to provide a safe environment for our employees and for our customers, so they keep coming, and there is no re-infection. But again, unlike the US, which I think people are concerned here in Nevada, we’re having a hard time being open again, because the people are so scared to have any idea. Hong Kong right now, you can go out for dinner, you can go shopping. So they kind of come to terms that much more comfortably, than we have. But I think it’s a mistake to try to figure out, which segment resurrects quickest. I think they all come back pretty quickly.

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Great. Thank you. That’s helpful. And just one follow-up, as it pertains to Marina Bay Sands. It looks like just timing of capex has shifted a little bit up from where it was. Could you guys just kind of provide an outline for maybe the key milestones of that project and how you kind of foresee the construction process?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Sorry. Are you referring, so Page 11 has our capex expectations in the slide presentation. You’re referring to the expansion, so the new tower for Marina Bay Sands.

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Yeah, just in terms of the timeline of construction and whatnot.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

So, I think what we’ve laid out here is pretty consistent with our thinking today. I think we’re really not going to start any heavy expenditures until the back half of ’21. And then, we’ll sort of follow as quick an execution schedule as we can follow. It’s funny. The Chairman always says to us, I built The Venetian in less than two years. You guys should do the same. So we’re going to do the best that we can do to be as aggressive as we can be, because really we want to add these assets to the tourism portfolio Singapore as quickly as possible.

So I think if you look in Macao, and you look at kind of the trajectory of our latest project, which was really from the ground up to The Parisian, you can kind of see the distribution there in some of our prior presentations about how capex progressed. Some of that is influenced by labor availability. In Singapore, we’d like to believe that in this particular market, we will have the ability to pursue the schedule we’ve kind of laid out there with the majorities coming across ’22, clean up in ’23, and then we’ll see what happens, maybe there will be some in ’24, as of right now, we’re not sure.

So I think our goal is to try to get this thing open as quickly as possible once we get the proper approvals from the government of Singapore, obviously with their support. So — and just to highlight, we do have a delayed draw of financing for that project. And so that project is financed in advance and it’s the same bank group that we’ve been with for years that also holds the credit facility there in Singapore. So we’re continuing to make progress. We’re working on a timeline there. We’re trying to work as quickly as we can given the current environment. And we’ll continue to keep you updated in upcoming quarters, but we’d like to pursue the schedule as aggressively as we can.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Before it’s worthwhile, we also will be open — when we do open up this summer, our Four Seasons is totally open, operational, 290 keys. And then by the end of the year, you’ll have The Londoner done as far as the outside, not the facade. So we’re moving quickly, we have 3,000 workers on site right now to finish those projects.

Carlo Santarelli — Deutsche Bank — Analyst

Great. Thank you very much.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Harry Curtis with Instinet. You may now ask your question.

Harry Curtis — Instinet — Analyst

Good afternoon, everyone. First question had to — is with respect to building margins back in Macao going back to the old adage, never let a crisis go by without learning from it. As you look at your — at some of your larger expenses ex labor, so for example, marketing, food and beverage, are there opportunities here to tweak the way that you operate to bring your margins back faster, so that you’ll be running actually more efficiently, even with fewer guests, for example?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Harry, I guess, my confidence may misguided, but I believe business in Macao is going be strong enough. We want the worry about cutting some restaurant workers or cutting some — I just don’t think there is enough margin in cutting costs, if the revenues are there, I think revenues will be there. I just feel like we’re over playing this in terms of how Asia thinks and how Asia rebounds. I think that’s appropriate commentary and question vis-a-vis Las Vegas. I think it’s a very fair question as well.

But in Macao and Singapore, I think we have great pent-up demand. We hear it, we feel it and we think that unless we’re misguided in that thinking, it would be mistake to pull back our F&D, pull back on a lot of things we do there because, again, you can’t overcome the enormous top line. These are top line businesses over there in Asia, and I think they need those kind of services — goods and services to be successful. I don’t see it, maybe perhaps you see it, but I just don’t see enough in less if business was backed levels we believe this year in Asia, I think it would be mistaken to try to shave a few points of costs and drive margin because the revenue should be there in my estimation.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Just one additional thing to think about it. Before the start of this disruption beginning in the first quarter of this year, this was a very well functioning, very well oiled machine that ran high margins was incredibly efficient and continually look to make itself more efficient each quarter. And so I think, we won’t look at this is purely from the transition standpoint. We’re going to look at this from the way we always look at it, which is to Rob’s point, we’ve got to grow revenue and we believe that it will happen.

And then, we’re going to continue to manage the business in a very cost efficient manner, ensuring that we generate as much cash flow and keep our margin strong. And so I think it’s difficult from where we sit today to tell you all the things that we’ll do going forward because we’ve looked very carefully our business, each quarter and we’ve taken cost out of it appropriately. And so I think we’ll just continue to do that and try to run as efficient business as possible.

Harry Curtis — Instinet — Analyst

Fair enough. Let me move on to a broader topic that looks out five to 10 years, and is tied to your — to Sheldon’s comments about additional spending in Macao. There is a new Chief Executive, some investors are questioning the relationship that the concessionaires might have going forward with the new Chief Executive. But it seems to me his most recent comments have actually been somewhat encouraging that the concessionaires have been positive for Vegas. So my question — or Vegas — Macao rather. So my question is, as you think about the future and spending in Macao, what partnerships are — might develop with the government or other companies or in the hospitality industry or in completely different industries that would position Las Vegas Sands to get a high return on incremental investment?

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

First, I’ll say, I’ll repeat Sheldon’s comments at the top of the call. We’d love to invest in Macao, we’re keen to invest in Macao. I don’t know you saw the Chief Executive calling us out for participating in the quarantine with our hotel rooms and commanding our actions there, but we’re pleased to see recognition on that. But I think we’ve always been consistent, and Sheldon has been consistent. We want to invest as much as we can in Macao, as often as we can in Macao. And we’re anxious for that date to come, Harry. The minute we get the go ahead, I think Mr. Adelson and our Board would be predisposed to write very large checks very quickly. We’ve always been believers. We believe the market just has so much potential growth there. There’s so much opportunity. The future Macao is very bright and very diversified and we’re very anxious to part of that. I think Sheldon has always been unequivocal and his willingness to invest, invest, invest, in the future of Macao. Sheldon, do you want to echo the sentiments?

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Yeah, I’ll echo those.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Echo.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Listen, we — Macao is — will be the best if not one of the best. It will be the best and the best gaming and leisure destination anywhere in the world. So there is no reason why it shouldn’t grow. While Rob was talking, I was thinking about potentially it can only go as big as Vegas does. It actually the populations that it serves is much greater than what Vegas serves, and it could grow into that. But it will take a long time to go into that. We’ve got 150,000 rooms. There’s is only about 35,000, 40,000 rooms in Macao. So we’ll take quite a while for it to grow well beyond that.

Harry Curtis — Instinet — Analyst

Okay. Thanks very much everyone.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

It certainly has the growth potential.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Thanks, Harry.

Patrick Dumont — Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Harry.

Harry Curtis — Instinet — Analyst

Thank you.

Operator

And your last question comes from the line of David Katz with Jefferies. You may now ask your question.

David Katz — Jefferies — Analyst

Hi. Evening, everyone and thanks for taking my question. I wanted to just go back to the reopening and try and envision. And Rob, you touched on this on the mass side. What operationally it could look like from people taking the ferry, border crossings, etc.? Are we envisioning gloves masks and temperature and I suppose I would ask the same question about Las Vegas and given as you point out aptly we may not be as used to it here. What that potentially could look like, we saw some release from the Nevada Gaming Commission this afternoon.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Right. Dave, I think if you look at — if you — I think I turned Hong Kong as a guideline. I think the Asian people will adapt, yes, the answer is that be temperature checks, that be mask, that be gloves, we’re going to — we can do to ensure our employees, our customers and the environment they can have fun in and visit us and all that. But they’re not going to be at risk as best we can prevent that. The rooms will be clean beyond clean, the wiping down of surfaces, the social distancing. They’re doing it in Hong Kong. I think, last time, I look Hong Kong had less than a dozen deaths, and they — again retail is open. You’re going to Hong Kong, the restaurants you sit a certain 5, 10 feet apart, you get temp check coming in, you wear gloves, you wear mask. And it’s a different world, but the Asians — there is all kinds of sanitizer, but they’re doing it as we speak in Hong Kong, today.

I envision a similar environment here in Las Vegas and in Macao. The difference is going to be the ability to acclimate is much higher in Asia, because for years I’ve been going in the airports, be it Tokyo or Hong Kong, Macao, and you do a temperature check, and people wearing is not that far and that they’re thinking. So, I don’t think the Asian people have a problem at all. In fact I think they’re going to welcome it and be anxious to get back to having fun in casinos. I believe that from the bottom of my heart, the recovery in Asia is going to happen rather quickly. I’m not as comfortable in Vegas. One of the reason I’m concerned is because this fall into our thinking. This is — I’ve been wearing a mask now for a while and it’s different. It is different. And I think it will be a little bit difficult here. I also worry about the airlift and how the airlines will be able to fly into Las Vegas because airlift is an important part of our success.

So, although it’s going to take some time and some comfort to get acclimate. I think, it’s going to happen. And I don’t think there’s any problem at all that’s going to happen in Macao. The minute they open the doors in Macao, we’re ready. We have the gloves, the masks, the sanitizers, the temperature checks. But I think you’re best example is what’s happening in Hong Kong as we speak. It’s pretty amazing. You can go shopping. You can go eating, and do a lot of things there and life there is not usual, but it’s going — ongoing and that’s what we hope we can do in Las Vegas, as well and adapt to the new environment.

Until the day comes on a vaccine or cure, I believe that’s going to happen. I — having lived through so many of these things from the stock market crash in ’80s to 2001, to 2008-’09 to SARS, people — that’s going to change, everything is going be all different and never be the same. I don’t agree, I think this thing will get fixed. In some point there will be a — there’ll be some remedy be it the vaccine, or be it some way of getting the medical people. There’s too many smart people are looking, but I think that will return. But Asia will return quicker and it will rebound much faster than here, and there’ll be no aversion to wearing masks and gloves and social distancing, in fact, they welcome it, as all they can come back to Macao and Singapore.

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

We’re not that old to remember all those past times.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

What’s that?

Sheldon G. Adelson — Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

We’re not that old that you remember all those incidents in the past.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

I was much younger were, if I remember that.

David Katz — Jefferies — Analyst

Dinner out sounds great. Be well, everyone, and thanks for taking my question. Yeah.

Robert G. Goldstein — President and Chief Operating Officer

Thanks, David. Be well, be safe.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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