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Uganda, Tanzania Boost Hotelier TPS' 2013 Profit

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Kenyan hotelier TPS Eastern Africa has posted a 35 percent jump in pretax profit last year to KES973 million shillings (USD$11.2 million).

TPS, which operates a chain of luxury hotels, lodges and tented camps across east Africa under its Serena brand, said it faced a host of challenges in the Kenyan market, while Uganda and Tanzania posted "satisfactory" performances.

"Serena Tanzania and Uganda recorded satisfactory performance during the period under review and the outlook for 2014 is at encouraging levels," TPS said in a statement.

It did not break down the contribution of each of the countries to its turnover, which rose 28 percent to KES6.8 billion shillings.

TPS had to deal with a slump in Kenya's tourism market in the first half of 2013 due to the country's general election in March after the previous election in 2007 was marred by violence.

In the event, the election passed off peacefully, but other challenges cropped up later in the year including a fire at the country's Nairobi airport and persistent attacks blamed on the al Shabaab rebels in Somalia.

"Other setbacks include the escalated poaching in Kenya and Tanzania; and the introduction of 16 percent value added tax on tourism services in Kenya," TPS said.

(Reuters)