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TSOGO SUN FIRST -HALF PROFIT DOWN 4%

Hotel and casino operator’s profit hit by a tax charge and a decline in leisure spending from the weak economy

Africa’s biggest hotels and casino operator Tsogo Sun Holdings reported a 4% decline in first-half profit on Thursday, hit by a tax charge and a decline in leisure spending from the weak economy.

Tsogo, which concluded a $2,2bn merger with rival Gold Reef Resorts earlier this year, said headline earnings per share totalled 50,1 cents in the six months to end-September compared with 52,1 cents a year earlier.

Tsogo said it took a R67m ($8.2m) tax charge on a final dividend.

The company, along with its competitors Sun International and City Lodge, have been struggling in recent months as the weak economy has kept consumers from gambling and leisure and business travel.

Tsogo is valued at $2,4bn, putting it among the top 20 casinos and hotels companies in the world. It said it had enough cash to pursue its growth strategy. Cash and cash equivalents rose to R984m from R418m.

Source: Business Day – Tiisetso Motsoeneng