Tsogo’s Casino Investments Steam Ahead

Tsogo-Sun

VENTURES AFRICA – Tsogo Sun, Africa’s biggest hotels and casino operator, is proceeding with the R200m expansion of its Emnotweni Casino, it said on Monday.

This expansion includes the construction of an expanded casino floor, additional gaming positions, additional covered parking, a conference and eventing area and restaurants.

Plans are at an advanced stage for the redevelopment of the Silverstar Casino, where the group expects to invest in new facilities, including cinemas, restaurants, concert and entertainment areas, conferencing facilities, and an expanded casino offering to better service to the West Rand market.

The group is also exploring a variety of projects, including the redevelopment of the Gold Reef City Theme Park, the expansion of the Suncoast Casino and related entertainment facilities, as well as a number of potential acquisitions which are at various stages of development.

The opportunity to bid for the relocation of one of the smaller casinos in the Western Cape to the Cape Metropole remains an opportunity for the group should the various legislative amendments allow this process to be effected.

The company said the ability to continue to pursue such investments will depend on the final outcome of, and impact from, the variety of proposed regulatory and tax changes considered by government and will require the successful interaction with various regulatory bodies including gaming boards, city councils, provincial authorities and national departments.

Tsogo Sun Holdings 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 50.1c a year earlier.

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

Reuters said shares in the R28bn company jumped 5.39 percent to 25.24 rand by 09:17, outpacing its closest rival Sun International, up 0.6 percent.

Consumer spending in South Africa 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 are also struggling with low occupancy rates due to oversupply after a building boom in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA 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 (CHI) raised its interim dividend by 20 percent to 24c.