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Interim dividend of 24.0 cent per share.

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Africa’s biggest hotels and casino operator, Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd, reported a 36 percent rise in first-half profit, as consumers in its mainstay South African market spent more on leisure.

Tsogo Sun, 40 percent owned by brewer SABMiller , said diluted headline EPS totalled 68 cents in the six months to end-September compared with 50.1 cents a year earlier.

Headline EPS, the main measure of profit in South Africa, strips out certain one-time items.

Shares in the 28 billion rand ($3.15 billion) company jumped 5.39 percent to 25.24 rand by 0717 GMT, outpacing its closest rival Sun International, up 0.6 percent.

Consumer spending in Africa’s biggest economy has been on the mend, although some analysts have warned that spending is partly fuelled by a surge in unsecured loans such as credit cards.

South African hotels have also struggling with low occupancy rates due to oversupply after a building boom in the run-up to the 2010 soccer World Cup.

Tsogo Sun said its occupancy rates improved slightly in the period.

The company, which is also owned by investment holding firm Hosken Consolidated Investments, raised its interim dividend by 20 percent to 24 cents.

Its shares are up more than 50 percent so far this year, outperforming a 15 percent gain the JSE All-share index . ($1 = 8.8937 South African rand) (Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng; editing by David Dolan)

Source: Moneyweb – Reuters