Sun International shifts focus to address challenges more efficiently

Cape Town – Sun International [JSE:SUI] has shown an increase of 19% in total group revenue to R7.6bn, according to its unaudited interim results for the six month period ending June 30 2017, released on Monday.

Group earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the period increased by 15% from R1.6bn to R1.9bn. Adjusted headline earnings of R206m are 29% below the comparable period with adjusted headline earnings per share down 29% to 198 cents.

Given the difficult trading conditions and a need to reduce high debt levels, the board decided not to declare an interim dividend.

The group reported that the growth in group revenue was attributable to the inclusion in the results of the Latin America-focused Sun Dreams (from June 1 2016), Sun Slots (formerly GPI Slots, from April 1 2016) and the Time Square casino complex in Pretoria (from April 1 2017).

Revenue generated by South African operations – excluding alternative gaming, international business, Time Square and the Morula Sun casino in North West – declined by 1.9% on a comparable basis. Ebitda generated by SA operations, however, declined by 9%, on a comparable basis.

The Sibaya casino in Durban, Sun City, Sun Slots and the Table Bay hotel produced encouraging results with solid Ebitda and revenue growth, according to the group report. Sun International CEO Anthony Leeming told Fin24 he is especially pleased with these results.

Leeming said the group’s focus has shifted from a growth and investment phase to getting “back to basics”. This involves aspects like a more internal look at service levels, cash flows, operational efficiency and better maintenance. It is also about innovation and better integration in order to be more efficient.

“We have a priority to be good at everything we do. The weak SA economy means consumers are holding back on expenditure – even if they have money to spend,” he told Fin24.

“We have done a lot the last few years to refurbish restaurants. A lot of drivers…

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