Sun International Skips Dividend; Subdued Economic Conditions May Persist

Cape Times (South Africa), March 28, 2017 | Go to article overview

Sun International Skips Dividend; Subdued Economic Conditions May Persist


HOTEL and gaming group Sun International did not declare a dividend for the year ended December 31 as it braced itself for the continuation of subdued economic conditions, increased personal taxes and reduced disposable income.

The group, which is currently building the R4 billion Time Square casino and hotel development in Menlyn Maine, Tshwane, decided against paying the dividend despite a 31 percent increase in revenue to R7.7bn for the period.

The company said its South African businesses, which contribute 67 percent of the company's revenue, took a strain from the uncertain macro-economic environment and reduced spending which reduced casino revenues.

Chief executive Anthony Leeming yesterday said the company took various steps such as cutting costs and improving efficiencies in order to mitigate the risks in South Africa.

Leeming said the company also wanted to reduce its debt from the current R14bn.

Revenue for the period increased on the back of the inclusion of Chile-based gaming and entertainment company, Dreams and Grand Parade Investments (GPI) Slots, a business focused on limited payout machines. Sun International said, without the inclusion of Dreams and GPI, its revenue was flat.

Sun International announced its decision to change its year end to December 31 to align with Chilean operations' regulatory requirements.

The results announced yesterday covered the period between July 1 and December 31.

"We have made good progress with some key initiatives during the past six months. In particular, the country's second largest casino, Time Square, will open on time and in line with its R4.2bn budget in April. …

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