New Mauritius Hotels revenue down sharply


PORT LOUIS – The Mauritius-based luxury hotel group New Mauritius Hotels NMH.MZ said on Tuesday revenue fell sharply as the global economic downturn squeezed the Indian Ocean island’s key tourism sector.

The group said that compared to last year group revenue for the third quarter and for the nine months ended June 30 decreased by 4.5 percent to 1.449 billion rupees ($46 million) and by 11.7 percent to 5.805 billion rupees respectively.

NMH saw post-tax profits slump 30.52 percent to 1.12 billion rupees for the nine month period, but said it was content with forward bookings for the next quarter and confident the group’s initial estimated profit of 1.2 billion rupees for the year would be achieved.

Earlier this month official data showed visitor numbers to Mauritius, traditionally one of Africa’s most stable and prosperous economies, fell by 9.3 percent to 413,504 during the first six months of 2009.

NMH said room occupancy rates for the quarter ended June 30 dropped to 64 percent from 66 percent last year.

Easter holidays and a depreciation of the local unit mitigated the effect of the occupancy rate, it added.

NMH has closed two hotels on the palm-fringed island at a cost of 55 million rupees.