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Sun International Enjoys Growth Driven by SunBet Sportsbook

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Sun International, the South African gambling operator, saw a 5.5% year-on-year increase in income to ZAR12.10 billion in 2023, largely due to a record performance from its sportsbook brand SunBet.

Total income for 2023 was up 7% on the ZAR 11.3 billion of 2022, which the operator said was due to the “resilience” of its portfolio and its “disciplined” strategy. However, there were mixed results. Income was up in some segments but down in others.

As mentioned, there was a record performance by SunBet and Sun City Casino brought in 14.8% more income. However, many of its casino properties saw a decline in income and slots operations were hit by “load shedding”.

Nonetheless, 2023, which saw the acquisition of Peermont, was a good year for Sun International.

uote “The performance reflects the quality of its operating businesses, the resilience of its omni-channel portfolio and disciplined execution on a strategy that continues to drive shareholder value. We are executing effectively on our omni-channel strategy and are focused on extracting further operational efficiencies as we look to protect and grow our income and margins.

StatementSun International

Optimistic Signs for 2024

Sun International explained that the wider economy and load shedding are putting pressure on land-based casinos as a whole. However, it has had a strong start to 2024 and said that SunBet is “achieving significant income growth and is exceeding key performance indicators.”

The group expects SunBet’s performance to improve again this year as the business expands. Furthermore, it added that its resort and hotel properties are performing “exceptionally well” and that it expects another good year with positive growth in income and adjusted EBITDA.

Sports Betting Up, Slots Down

Analyzing the 2023 figures, gaming was the primary revenue generator at ZAR9.29 billion, a 3.2% increase.

Slot machines were a large revenue stream, bringing in ZAR5.51 billion, despite a 2.8% decrease from the year before. Conversely, revenue from table games rose by 5.9% to ZAR1.59 billion, and the Sun Slots and SunBet brands saw a 1.9% increase in revenue to ZAR2.19 billion.

Revenue from non-gaming operations also saw a rise of 21.7% to ZAR2.81 billion. Sun reported that room revenue grew by 32.6% to ZAR1.13 billion, revenue from food and beverages by 14.9% to ZAR986 million, and other sources of revenue by 13.7% to ZAR591 million.

Among individual operations, the GrandWest casino led with ZAR1.88 billion in revenue, a 3.0% increase. This was closely followed by Sun City at ZAR1.87 billion and Sun Time Square at ZAR1.51 billion. Additionally, SunBet achieved a record ZAR733 million, and the Sun Slots brand generated ZAR1.47 billion, a 2.7% decline from 2022.

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