Amidst the on-going coronavirus pandemic, Las Vegas Sands today released a statement affirming its strategic priorities including suspending its dividend program.
“The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business has been unprecedented, and I have never seen anything like it in my over seventy years in business,” said Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson. “Our greatest priority during this difficult time remains our deep commitment to supporting our team members and assisting each of our local communities of Macao, Singapore and Las Vegas.”
“Despite these circumstances, our balance sheet strength will enable us to emerge from this pandemic with all our promising future growth opportunities fully intact. We remain extremely optimistic about an eventual recovery of travel and tourism spending across our markets, as well as our future growth prospects. We are fortunate that our financial strength will allow us to continue to execute our previously announced capital expenditure programs in both Macao and Singapore.
“As the largest shareholder of this company, my interests are very directly aligned with the interest of all shareholders. I know that the dividend is important to all our shareholders, as it is to me. I am known for the phrase, “yay dividends!”, and I assure you that it is still my mantra. But a strong balance sheet is also a vital and necessary component to realising stockholder value in the decades ahead. As I look forward to the day—soon let us hope—when this terrible virus is no longer of concern—I see many strategic opportunities for our company precisely because of our financial strength. It is because of this optimism that we are suspending the dividend so that we have maximum optionality in pursuing our strategic vision and in producing future returns. I commit to my fellow shareholders that we will revisit the suspension of the dividend at the earliest reasonable opportunity,” stated Mr. Adelson.