February 26, 2010 / 2:48 PM / 9 years ago

Sun Int'l sees lower FY earnings after H1 profit falls

* Headline EPS down 36 pct

* Revenue rose 2 pct

* Shares up more than 1 pct

(Adds details, shares)

JOHANNESBURG, Feb 26 (Reuters) - South Africa’s biggest casino and hotels group Sun International (SUIJ.J) posted a 36 percent fall in first-half profit as fewer people visit its hotels and casino due to the economic downturn.

Sun International, which operates the popular Sun City resort, said on Friday adjusted headline earnings per share fell to 216 cents in the six months to end-December, worse than its forecast range of a 20-30 percent decline.

The company has been hit as consumers in Africa’s biggest economy, battling job losses and high personal debts, stay away from gambling, while tourism from abroad has slowed due to the global financial crisis.

Revenue rose 2 percent to 4.1 billion rand ($530.1 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was 11 percent lower at 1.2 billion rand.

Shares in the company rose 1.66 percent to 91.95 rand by 1234 GMT, outpacing a 0.04 percent higher JSE All-share index .JALSH

(Reporting by Gugu Lourie and Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

((gugu.lourie@thomsonreuters.com; +27 11 775 3162; Reuters Messaging: gugu.lourie.reuters.com@reuters.net.)) (For more Africa cover visit: af.reuters.com -- To comment on this story email: SouthAfrica.Newsroom@reuters.com)

($1=7.734 Rand) Keywords: SUNINTERNATIONAL/

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