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Tsogo Sun Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s biggest hotel and casino operator, is slowing investments in expanding existing businesses and making new acquisitions after debt ballooned.
“We continue to look at other opportunities but obviously we’re mindful of the fact that our debt levels are higher than they used to be,” Chief Executive Officer Jacques Booysen said by phone. “We’re are not just out there to buy anything that comes up for sale.”
While the company will be paying more attention to its costs, Tsogo will still expand further into Africa, with plans to open a Garden Court in Zambia, and a Southern Sun Hotel in Ghana by 2019, the CEO said. It also plans to spend 1.6 billion rand ($127 million) to refurbish Suncoast in Durban, South Africa, Booysen said, of which 291 million rand was spent in the year through March.
“We’ve got opportunities in the Western Cape, with the possible relocation of the smaller casinos into the metropole,” he said. “Also in Cape Town, Tsogo has opened StayEasy budget hotels in the city, and Maputo.”
The Johannesburg-based company’s investment spending in the fiscal year through March declined almost 8 percent to 3.25 billion rand, Tsogo said in an earnings presentation on Wednesday. Those investments included the purchase of Gameco in exchange for shares and 1.7 billion rand in cash. Since November, Gameco has brought in cash of 624 million rand, the CEO said.
The company’s net debt increased 4 percent to 12.5 billion rand, Tsogo said. That compares with 3.58 billion rand at the end of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock fell 0.5 percent as of 1:30 p.m. in Johannesburg amid a broad selloff in South African equities, giving Tsogo a market value of 26 billion rand.