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Sun International Increases Earnings

23 Feb 2004

SOUTH AFRICA – As reported by the iAfrica: "Hotel and gaming group Sun International South Africa (Sisa) has managed to increase its headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the six months to end-December 2003, despite the negative impact of the strong rand on the local tourism industry, with adjusted HEPS rising to 8.7 cents from 8.5 cents in the year-earlier period.

"…Reporting its interim results on Friday after market close, Sisa said its total revenues (with associates equity-accounted) were three percent higher at R979-million (US$147.8 million) versus R955-million (US$144 .2 million) a year earlier, with gaming revenues posting a good gain to R624-million (US$94.2 million) from R591-million (US$89.2 million)in the previous year.

"…Sisa said of its interests, its largest, the GrandWest Casino in Cape Town, had increased revenue significantly to R478-million from R421-million a year earlier, and EBITDA was higher at R181-million from R156-million.

"Sun City, the second largest earner, managed to improve its revenues over the period to R411-million from R408-million a year earlier and EBITDA rose to R57-million from R52-million.

"Casino interests Carnival City, Wild Coast, Carousel, Flamingo, Morula and Thaba'Nchu/Naledi had all improved both revenues and EBITDA, with the exception of Morula, whose EBITDA fell R1-million to R15-million. Its Durban Sugarmill casino saw a fall in revenue and sharp fall in EBITDA to R52-million from R83-million previously.

"…Looking ahead, the group said that subsequent to year-end, gaming revenues had shown good growth as a result of improved consumer confidence, but hospitality revenues remained under some pressure…"

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