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Send  Print  Share  RSS  Twitter  28 Feb 2011

RESULTS: Sun International


Johannesburg, Feb 28 (I-Net Bridge) - Gaming and leisure group Sun International reported first-half diluted adjusted headline earnings per share (HEPS) of 215c compared with 213c previously.

Adjusted headline earnings of 220 million rand were 2% higher from 215 million rand before.

Revenue for the period was 9% up to 4.5 billion rand, and comparable revenue (excluding the Federal Palace in Nigeria) was 8% higher, the group said on Monday.

An interim dividend of 80 cents per share was declared.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.3 billion rand for the six months was 5% higher than last year with the EBITDA margin declining 1.2 percentage points to 28.3%.

Adjusted headline earnings of 220 million rand were 2% higher.

"The lower margin is due to certain cost increases being ahead of inflation - particularly wages and property costs such as rates, taxes and utilities," the group added.

The strengthening of the rand and Chilean peso against the US dollar resulted in a foreign exchange loss of 79 million rand, compared with a loss of 16 million rand in 2009.

Net interest paid decreased by 8% to 243 million rand as a result of lower interest rates.

Tax of 233 million rand increased by 27% due to the tax refund in the prior year. The effective tax rate, excluding the minority equity option charge, non-deductible preference share dividends, secondary tax on companies (STC), capital gains tax (CGT) and prior year over-provisions was 34%, compared with 35% in 2009.

Trading conditions in the group's casinos had generally stabilised, according to Sun International CEO David Coutts-Trotter.

Demand for gaming had improved in certain locations, lifting gaming revenues by 8% to 3.5 billion rand, with slots revenue at 2.9 billion rand and tables revenue at 0.6 billion rand, 9% and 6% ahead of last year respectively.

Rooms revenue at 465 million rand was 14% ahead of last year (7% excluding the Federal Palace).

Group occupancy of 66.9% was 3.2 percentage points lower than last year, although average room rates increased by 9% to 897 rand. The decline in occupancies was primarily a result of weaker demand from international markets.

Looking ahead, Coutts-Trotter said he anticipated that hospitality revenues would remain soft for the rest of the financial year.

"Gaming revenues have stabilised and are showing signs of improvement at certain units.

"Growth in adjusted HEPS for the full year (excluding foreign exchange earnings) is anticipated, although this is likely to be below that achieved for the first half."


I-Net Bridge, Tel: +27-11-280-0819,

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