Macau’s Casino Boom Lifts Chow Sang Sang, Luk Fook Holiday Sales

Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd. and Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Ltd. said jewelry sales during the week-long Chinese holiday were boosted by Macau, where growth continued to outpace Hong Kong’s.

While sales in Hong Kong probably increased by more than 10 percent during the Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 Chinese holiday, Macau stores posted gains three to five percentage points higher, Lau Hak Bun, Chow Sang Sang’s sales operations director, said in an interview.

Macau, the world’s biggest gaming strip, is pulling in more tourists as casino operators add shopping malls, spas and shows to woo family-oriented visitors. The former Portuguese colony posted economic growth exceeding 10 percent in the second quarter, compared with Hong Kong’s 3.3 percent.

“We have seen increasing purchases by visitors traveling with their families in Macau during this holiday,” Lau said.

Chow Sang Sang and Luk Fook are the biggest jewelry store operators in Hong Kong after Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. The October week-long holiday is known as the Golden Week.

More than 28 million people visited Macau last year, with 60 percent of them from China. Arrivals from the mainland to the gaming city jumped 12.1 percent to 722,746 during the holiday, the Macau Government Tourism Office said.

Tourism Boom

“Golden Week jewelry sales growth in Macau have surpassed Hong Kong for the past two to three years, thanks to the tourism boom along with the development of the gambling industry,” Wong Wai Sheung, chief executive officer of Luk Fook, said in an interview. The company owns 37 jewelry store outlets in Hong Kong and nine in Macau, according to its interim statement in March.

Jewelry buyers in Macau are also more likely to buy diamonds and gemstones, giving store operators a higher profit margin, Chow Sang Sang’s Lau said. The company has four outlets in the gaming city, and 55 in Hong Kong, according to its website.

Luk Fook and Chow Sang Sang are benefiting from Macau’s attempt to become China’s top leisure spot, with casino operators increasing hotel room supplies.

Sands China Ltd., the Macau casino operator controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said in a statement this week that visitors during the holiday jumped 23 percent to a record 1.5 million people. Its hotels were fully occupied on three days.

MGM China Holdings Ltd. broke ground on a $2.6 billion resort in Cotai, Macau, in February. SJM Holdings Ltd. plans to develop a hotel with Italian fashion house Gianni Versace SpA.

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