December 14, 2011 / 3:58 PM / 9 years ago

New Mauritius Hotels year pretax profit drops 0.9 pct

PORT LOUIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Luxury hotels group New Mauritius Hotels (NMH) said on Wednesday pretax profit for the year through September dropped 0.9 pct, hit by heavy discounting among operators, but it expected better results in its fiscal first quarter.

Ranked among the Indian Ocean island’s most-traded stocks, NMH said yearly pretax profit fell to 803.1 million rupees ($27.4 million) from 810.5 million the previous year.

“The imbalance between air access and hotel capacities was more pronounced during the low season and this, coupled with unfavourable exchange rates, impacted on the whole of the industry,” it said in a statement.

NMH said many hotel operators had resorted to heavy discounting in an attempt to boost occupancy.

It said the island needed to take urgent measures to restore its reputation as a high-end destination.

Revenue rose 11.5 percent to 7.6 billion rupees and earnings per share edged higher to 4.50 rupees from 4.09 rupees the same period a year ago.

NMH said its would pay a full-year dividend of 2.00 rupees per share against 2.50 rupees last year.

Shares in the group, which owns eight hotels in Mauritius and one in the Seychelles, closed at 75.50 rupees. The results were released after the market closed. ($1 = 29.3500 Mauritius rupees) (Reporting by Jean Paul Arouf; Editing by Barry Malone and David Holmes)

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