South African hotel and casino operator Sun International reported a 91% jump in adjusted full-year earnings on Monday.  Supplied
South African hotel and casino operator Sun International reported a 91% jump in adjusted full-year earnings on Monday. Supplied

Sun International has safe and healthy environment for guests and staff

By Sandile Mchunu Time of article published Mar 17, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Sun International has said that it was taking necessary precautions to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its guests and staff should the coronavirus pose a threat for its business in the future.

Chief executive Anthony Lemming said yesterday that although it was still too early to determine the full impact of the coronavirus on its operations, the group remained well poised to respond to any eventuality.

“The outbreak does present a challenge for all businesses and it makes trading extremely difficult. While it is still too early to forecast what impact the coronavirus might have, we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our guests and staff and preparing operations for any possible disruption to trading,” Lemming said.

The group operates in the hotel, resort, casino and gaming industry.

Sun International reported a 4percent increase in total income to R17.2billion for the year to end December, primarily driven by above-market organic growth from key operations in South Africa and the impact of acquisitions made in Latin America (Latam).

Its adjusted headline earnings increased 109percent to R763million, while diluted adjusted headline earnings per share rose 91percent to 605cents a share.

The group said adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and restructuring or rent (Ebitdar) inched up marginally by 1percent to R4.6bn, with margin expansion achieved in South Africa but offset by the impact of unexpected social unrest and instability in Chile.

Lemming said their goal for the year was to drive sustainable growth and profitability, unlock value in the business and reduce debt.

“We are pleased with the progress we have made against these goals that have assisted us in achieving extremely pleasing results against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging environment,” Lemming said.

“We were particularly pleased with our Latam operations, which showed resilience in the face of unexpected and widespread social unrest in Chile during the last quarter.

"Sun Dreams also demonstrated pleasing de-gearing and balance sheet strength.”

Lemming said Latam operations reported an 8percent increase in income to R5.4bn, while adjusted Ebitdar declined 8 percent to R1.29bn, and total income in South Africa increased 2percent to R11.5bn.

The group said Ebitdar inched up by 5percent to R3.3bn.

The group reduced its debt to R8.8bn, down from R9.2bn compared to last year.

SunBet reported an 82percent increase in income, benefiting from its online sports betting, while Ebitdar increased to R44m, up from R8m compared to a year earlier.

Sun Slots increased its income 13 percent while Ebitdar surged 14percent.

Lemming said the group was excited by the growth they have achieved with both Sun Slots and SunBet and are confident they will see further growth from these two important assets.

Sun International shares declined 15.19percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R20.27.

BUSINESS REPORT 

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