Sun International recovers from Chile’s smoking ban


The smoking ban was implemented in Chile in March 2013 and had knocked one of Latin America’s best casinos, Monticello’s, revenue down by 22 per cent for the half year.  

[DATA SUI:Sun International Limited] which now has a 98.9 per cent stake in Monticello since July this year, therefore opened four new smoking decks in September and October, resulting in revenue growth of ten per cent for the second half of the year.

(READ MORE: Sun International to acquire added stake in Monticello)


“The recovery in revenues in recent months and a comprehensive restructure of the business resulted in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the second half of the year increasing by 56 per cent to 9.5 billion Chilean pesos on last year at an EBITDA margin of 24.8 per cent, which creates a positive outlook for the year ahead,” said the group in a statement.

Total group revenue for the period increased by 5.4 per cent to 10.8 billion rand while EBITDA was up five per cent at 3.1 billion rand, reflecting a significant turnaround in the second half of the year in which revenue was up 7.4 per cent compared to 3.6 per cent in the first half of the year.

(READ MORE: Sun International affected by poor casino revenue )

Adjusted headline earnings and diluted adjusted headline earnings per share both however declined by six per cent to 683 million rand and seven per cent to 655 cents respectively.

A final dividend of 155 cents was declared, bringing the total dividend for the period to 245 cents, a decline from last year’s 265 cents.

In Sun International’s South African operations, Grand West Casino’s revenue increased by eight per cent to 2 billion rand while Sun City’s revenue was nine per cent higher at 1.4 billion rand with the casino division’s profits up 16 per cent to 519 million rand.

Sibaya Casino’s revenue grew by five per cent to one billion rand while Carnival City’s revenue declined by two per cent to one billion rand due to increased competition from Electric Bingo Terminals and Limited Payout Machines.  

In the groups’ hotel operations, the Table Bay Hotel achieved revenue growth of 29 per cent to 233 million rand driven by a 40 per cent increase in international room nights sold which accounted for 73 per cent of rooms’ revenue.

In Zambia, the Royal Livingstone and Zambezi Sun’s revenue was up by 15 per cent to 222 million rand and 21 per cent to 52 million rand respectively due to an increase in conferences and events hosted at both properties.

The Federal Palace in Nigeria posted a significant decline in EBITDA of 40 per cent to 28 million rand due to a knock in hospitality revenues since the opening of two 180 room five star hotels in Lagos as well as continued political turmoil in the country.

(READ MORE: Sun International to dispose of African assets )

“The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is likely to impact trading at the Federal Palace in the year ahead,” continued the statement.

The group believes that its strong performance during the second half of the 2014 period, cost cutting initiatives as well as the improved trading of Monticello should continue to have a positive effect on the company in the new financial year.

(READ MORE: Top executive jobs at Tsogo Sun cut )

Sun International’s 45.5 million US dollar acquisition of the Ocean Club Casino in Panama from property group, Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower, is also expected to contribute to group earnings for the 2015 period.

“On balance, the group is confident that it will achieve growth in both EBITDA and adjusted headline earnings in the 2015 financial year.”

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