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New Mauritius Hotels Delays Dividend on European Debt Fears

May 14 (Bloomberg) -- New Mauritius Hotels Ltd., the island nation’s biggest leisure operator by market value, delayed a dividend announcement, blaming the European debt crisis, even as profits rose in the quarter through March.

The “lack of visibility” regarding “air access to Mauritius prompted the board to exercise caution by postponing to a later date the declaration of dividends,” New Mauritius Hotels said in a statement published on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius’s website today.

Air Mauritius, sub-Saharan Africa’s fourth-biggest airline, suspended flights to Europe earlier than originally scheduled citing “depressed market conditions.”

Arrivals in the Indian Ocean island nation declined 0.2 percent in the three months through March, led by a 2.7 percent contraction in the number of visitors from Europe, which accounted for 66 percent of the total, according to Statistics Mauritius.

Curepipe-based New Mauritius Hotels, which operates in the upper segment of the leisure industry, said net income advanced 6 percent to 355.2 million rupees, while revenue jumped 12 percent to 2.36 billion rupees.

Earnings for the next two quarters, coinciding with the low season in the Indian Ocean island nation, are expected to be “similar to those of last year,” it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis at kbhuckory@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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