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LAS VEGAS-Las Vegas Sands Corp. reported a small net loss in the second quarter on an 81% increase in net revenue due. The international gaming resort developer and operator placed the credit and the blame on its new resorts in Las Vegas and Macau. In a subsequent conference call with analysts, chief executive Bill Weidner said a slowdown in Las Vegas is prompting the company to trim headcount there by 1,500–”through attrition, not layoffs”–as part of a plan to find between $70 and $90-million in annual savings in the market. “It’s a challenging market that could continue for some time,” he said.

In Las Vegas, LVSands Corp. owns the Venetian, the recently opened Palazzo and the Sands Convention Center, which all border one another, forming the largest integrated resort and convention destination in the world. The company’s GAAP operating income in Las Vegas fell 26.2% to $42.1 million when compared to Q2 2007, due in part to expenses related to the ramp up of the Palazzo. EBITDAR jumped 28.1% to $106.6 million and hotel revenue increased 52.6% to $142.4 million, both principally due to the opening of the Palazzo.

As for hotel performance, the Venetian’s ADR fell to $245 in Q2 2008 from $266 in Q2 2007. RevPAR at the Venetian decreased 17.2% to $222. Occupancy fell to 90.6% during from 100.9% during the prior year period, primarily due to the fact that LVS chose to push a portion of the Venetian’s booked business to the Palazzo; combined, the two resorts have 7,100 hotel rooms and suites.

The Palazzo, which is in its second quarter of operation, posted an ADR of $243, while occupancy of available guestrooms was 92.9%, generating REVPAR of $226. The opening of the Palazzo also boosted food and beverage revenues for LVSands’s Las Vegas operations; they increased 53% to $68.7 million in Q2 2008. Retail and other operating revenues came in at $45.6 million, up from $29.8 million in the second quarter last year.

Companywide, LVSands reported net revenue for Q2 2008 was $1.11 billion, compared to $612.9 million in Q2 2007 while GAAP operating income dropped $13 million to $73.3 million. Adjusted net income (excluding loss on disposal of assets, pre-opening expense, development expense, and loss on early retirement of debt) was $30.9 million, off $51 million from $81.9 million in Q2 2007. On a GAAP basis, the company posted a net loss of $8.8 million compared to net income of $34.4 million in Q2 2007.

LVSands executives say the increase in revenue–due to the expanded asset base–was offset by operating expenses, including depreciation and amortization costs related to its openings of Venetian Macau in Macau and the Palazzo in Las Vegas. The company also is in the final stages of development for Four Seasons Macau, which is scheduled to open this time next month.

Hotel revenues at the Venetian Macau during the second quarter–its third quarter in operation–were $46.5 million. ADR was $225 while the occupancy per available guestrooms was 80.2%, generating RevPAR of $180. In the previous quarter, hotel revenues were $47.7 million, ADR was $232 and occupancy was 78.6%, generating RevPAR of $183.

Retail and other operating revenues at Venetian Macau during Q2 2008 were $36.8 million. Food and beverage revenues were $15.4 million. In the previous quarter, retail and other operating revenues were $32.9 million while food and beverage revenues were $14.6 million.

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