Las Vegas Sands revenue, profits surged in late 2011, report says

Las Vegas Sands Corp. on Wednesday issued the first financial statistics from the Las Vegas Strip for the fourth quarter of 2011, and they confirmed tourism is rebounding in the city.

In reporting its fourth quarter results, Las Vegas Sands said net revenue at the Venetian and the Palazzo hotel-casinos on the Strip came in at $339.5 million, up from $310.6 million in 2010’s fourth quarter.

Hotel occupancy of 89.1 percent was up from 80.1 percent, with revenue per available hotel room jumping to $174 from $154.

The company said that in Las Vegas, “Stronger group meeting and convention business during the quarter drove a 15.7 percent increase in cash revenue from the sale of hotel rooms and a 9.7 percent increase in food and beverage revenue.”

Las Vegas Sands’ numbers reinforce statistics issued by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority showing that through November, visitation in 2011 to the U.S. gaming capital totaled 35.9 million people, up 4.4 percent from 2010.

LVCVA statistics also showed visitors were spending more in Las Vegas last year, with the average daily rate for hotels running at $105.39, up 10.8 percent from 2010.

Overall, thanks to booming business in Asia, Las Vegas Sands said Wednesday that fourth quarter net revenue increased 26.3 percent to a record $2.54 billion.

The boost spurred a quarterly profit of $320.1 million, or 39 cents per share, vs. $273 million, or 34 cents, earned in the year-ago quarter.

The company, led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, is in such solid financial shape that on Wednesday it declared an annual dividend of $1 per share.

Dividends are a rarity in the gaming industry, which generally is struggling with excessive debt and can’t afford to make payouts to shareholders.

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