Macau casino operator attributes much of the decline to a decrease in VIP play

Melco Crown Entertainment’s Macau casinos reported net revenues of US$400.2 million and $1.33 billion for the 2009 fourth quarter and full year.

Yearly revenue was down 6 percent, which Melco attributed mostly to a decrease in VIP play, as evidenced by a decrease in rolling chip volume and lower rolling chip hold percentage, compared with 2008. The bottom line was a net loss of US$308.5 million for the year, compared with a loss of $2.5 million in 2008. The loss per share was 63 cents, up from one cent in 2008.

For the fourth quarter, net revenue was $400.2 million, an increase of approximately 60 percent year over year, thanks largely to the opening of City of Dreams in June. But on a GAAP basis the company recorded a net loss for the fourth quarter of $89.7 million, or 17 cents per share, compared with a loss of $18.9 million, or four cents per share, in 2008.

Net revenue from the company’s Mocha slot arcades totaled US$25 million in the quarter, up from $22.4 million in the same period in 2008. EBITDA was roughly flat year over year.

The number of Mocha gaming machines in operation averaged 1,560 in the fourth quarter, up from an average of 1,090 in the fourth quarter of 2008. Net win per machine per day was US$174, down from $223 in the fourth quarter of 2008.