South African casino and hotel group Sun International announced on Monday its half-year headline loss narrowed to $475,104, and that it has placed its Eswatini operation into liquidation after it failed to pay creditors.
Even though the travel and leisure sector is showing signs of slight recovery, curfew hours, restrictions on serving alcohol and limited demand from international business and leisure travel into the country does not allow a faster pace for the process.
The group that runs the Sun City resort, The Maslow Sandton and The Table Bay has reported an adjusted headline loss of $60.4 million in the prior year. Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations increased to $50.4 million from $4 million.
Casino income rose by 53% to $157 million even though shows, concerts and general entertainment at the casinos are still not allowed. Income at the resorts and hospitality operations rose by 21%, while alternate gaming - including sports betting- skyrocketed after a 97% increase as international sports resumed.
Overall group income from continuing operations rose by 51% to $259 million.
According to an official statement, Sun International has been looking to exit Eswatini, formally known as Swaziland, since 2016, but it was waiting for final regulatory approvals from the King to sell its 51% stake in Swazispa.
Failing to obtain additional funding from shareholders after lockdowns, Swazispa was unable to pay its creditors and its liabilities exceeded its assets, forcing it to be placed into final liquidations, according to the firm.
"We couldn't get the deal done and didn't have any money to continue operating it. So we can't keep it anymore," Group Chief Executive Anthony Leeming said.