May 11, 2010 / 12:34 AM / in 9 years

Sands China Q1 net profit rises 315 pct

HONG KONG, May 11 (Reuters) - Sands China (1928.HK), the world’s second-most valuable casino operator by market value, posted first-quarter earnings that quadrupled from a year ago, thanks to more gamblers at its Macau casinos and cost controls.

Sands China, whose rivals include Wynn Macau (1128.HK) and Melco Crown Entertainment MPEL.O, reported net profit of $110.51 million for January-March, up from $26.66 million a year ago.

The results were widely expected as Sands China had reported last Friday first-quarter profit of $113.3 million, according to U.S. GAAP standards, together with Las Vegas Sands.

Most analysts say Sands China, 70 percent owned by U.S. casino firm Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N), is their favourite pick among Macau casino stocks, due to its aggressive expansion plans and high exposure to the mass-market gambling segment, which is more resilient to economic turbulence.

Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Jonathan Hopfner

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