City Lodge Hotels, which is in the process of expanding its operations into east Africa, lifted revenue by 9 percent to R533.9 million in the six months to December last year compared with the same period in 2012. The occupancy rate rose to 64 percent from 63 percent in the first half of its previous year and the interim dividend was raised by 15 percent to R2.02 a share. Until 2012 the group, which serves mainly the business travel market but has also attracted tourists in increasing numbers, operated only in this country. Following a successful investment in two hotels in Nairobi and the opening of a Road Lodge in Gaborone, it is preparing to expand further into east Africa and into Ghana. Chief executive Clifford Ross said yesterday that it was preparing to invest in developments in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Negotiations on the development in Ghana were “tied up in bureaucracy, due partly to the recent change in government, which means negotiations are starting again with different people”. The shares fell 3.35 percent to close at R114 yesterday. – Audrey D’Angelo