Mandarin Oriental International, the resorts and hotels arm of the Jardines group, yesterday revealed profit had been hit hard by Asia's economic downturn. The company said attributable earnings for the six months to June 30 fell 72 per cent to US$9.6 million due to the decline in Asian travel and tourism. Analysts said Mandarin Oriental's profit slide was likely to continue as provisions would need to be made soon for the revaluation of its 25 per cent stake in Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, now under development, and to cover foreign exchange losses. Turnover fell to $100.3 million from $133.6 million, while earnings per share fell to 1.36 cents from 4.87 cents. Mandarin Oriental slashed its interim payout to shareholders to 0.5 cent per share from last year's 1.65 cents. Extensive renovations at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park in London also had affected profit, it said. The company did not provide a breakdown of occupancies, saying only it 'has suffered from the effects of declining travel and tourism in [the] Asia-Pacific'. Operating profit in Hong Kong and Macau fell to $16.1 million from $37.6 million in the same period last year. Philip Tulk, an investment analyst at Lehman Brothers Asia, said despite rising tourist arrivals in Hong Kong during the summer, the outlook for high-end hotels was negative for the next several years. 'The problem is that most of the tourism increase is from the mainland and from Taiwanese visitors, rather than Japanese or others, meaning the high-end hotels won't see much of this increase,' he said.