African Sun group targets 2010 World Cup

ZIMBABWE - HARARE - The positive developments in the economy will assist African Sun group focus on refurbishing its hotels in preparation for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the company has said.

Presenting the company’s financial results of the half-year ending 31 March, Africa Sun chairman Mr Eben Makonese said the inclusive Government had ushered in the much needed political stability necessary for business confidence.

“The prevailing environment has also witnessed a keen interest in Zimbabwe by various investor groups.

“It is likely that credit lines which will provide the much needed capital for economic recovery will begin to flow in,” he said.

The group expects to increase the number of rooms to 8 500 from the 2 926 within the next three years.

Mr Makonese said the company’s growth strategy had not been affected by the global recession that has also affected some of the countries where they operate.

He said there were a number of projects being pursued by the group nearing completion and these included Holiday Inn in Kano, Nigeria with 200 rooms.

Holiday Inn Arusha in Tanzania was another project nearing completion and has a total of 198 rooms while a similar project, Holiday Inn Gaborone has 154 rooms.

In Zambia, there is the Royal Chirundu Lodge in the resort town of Livingstone with 140 rooms.

Africa Sun witnessed a decline in hotel occupancy levels from the previous 47 percent to 29 percent attributed to the subdued occupancies recorded in the Zimbabwe operations that traded under a depressed environment.

Mr Makonese said despite South Africa being in a recession, expenditure on infrastructure upgrade and development in that country would drive business activity.

“Improvement in world commodity prices, recovery of capital markets and the easing of the global financial crisis will ensure stability in South Africa,” he said

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