Johannesburg - Gaming and hospitality company Sun International saw an 18% drop in net profit, despite a marginal revenue increase in the half year to end-December.
True to the adage that punters tend to try their luck more at casinos in a tighter monetary environment, the company notched a 5% revenue increase from its casinos while both food and hotel revenues slipped slightly.
The R409m hotel room revenue was 14% lower than the previous period, while the R466m food and beverage revenue dropped 2%.
Sun International's total revenue came in at R4bn. Headline earnings per share were 36% lower at 213c.
However, Sun International has put a positive spin to the numbers, saying trading conditions were stabilising and some growth in revenue is forecast for the remainder of the year, in part due to the anticipated benefits of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
"The expected improved revenue performance, lower interest costs and non-recurrence of the significant foreign exchange movements that occurred in the first half are anticipated to result in an improved earnings performance in the second half," said CEO David Coutts-Trotter. "Headline earnings per share for the full year, however, will be below last year."