Lockdown has cost Sun International R2.2bn

Johannesburg – Sun International, one of Africa’s leading gaming and hospitality groups, has taken a hit of more than R2.2-billion in the first months of Covid-19, the company’s internal records reveal.

With headquarters in Johannesburg, Sun International has flagships in Sun City Resort including The Palace of the Lost City Hotel, and luxury and lifestyle hotels such as The Table Bay in Cape Town and The Maslow in Sandton, Joburg.

The company’s financials show that its GrandWest operations in the Western Cape took the biggest knock with revenue loss to budget from March to June of R543-million.

“The GrandWest operation, located in Goodwood in the Western Cape, lost R102-million in revenue for the month of March 2020,” reads a document seen by Sunday World.

The Carnival City Casino. PICTURE: INSTAGRAM

The company further experienced a revenue loss to budget of R179-million for the month of April, R172-million for May and estimated a loss of R181-million for June.

Sun International’s Table Bay Hotel, also in the Cape, recorded revenue loss to budget of R81.4-million in the same period.

A similar pattern plays out throughout the group’s operations nationwide. The company’s Time square facility in Pretoria lost out on an expected revenue of R392-million while Carnival City missed out on R240-million.

The group’s Maslow Hotel in Sandton came in at R36.7-million under budget and Sun City resort bled R426,8-million.

The company’s Sibaya property, nestled in Kwa-Zulu Natal, had a financial hole of R320-million in the period under review. The Carousel business in the North West registered revenue loss to budget of R21,9-million. In August, Sun International closed its Naledi and Carousel hotels, charging that the Covid-19 pandemic had forced it to review its operations to save costs.

It also said it was planning to cut 3 300 jobs in South Africa and Chile as part of a restructuring plan to survive Covid.

Isibaya Casino and Hotels. PICTURE: SAFARI NOW

The company is now seeking to recoup at least R648-million from its insurer, La Coupe Insurance.

The spokesperson for Sun International had not responded to questions by the time we went to print. The hospitality sector is a major contributor to the South African economy and provides employment to close to half a million employees. Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa chairperson Rosemary Anderson said the industry has borne the brunt of heightened restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

“Our hospitality industry will not survive another lockdown,” said Anderson.

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