BULAWAYO, May 6 (The Source) – Sugar production at regional agri-processing group Tongaat Hullet’s Zimbabwe operations went down 8.8 percent to 445,000 tonnes year on year on reduced deliveries from new fields.
The South Africa-based company owns Hippo Valley and Triangle sugar milling and estates in the Lowveld.
The two sugar mills have a combined installed milling capacity to crush in excess of 4,8 million tonnes of cane annually and produce over 640,000 tonnes of sugar.
Tongaat said total sugar production at all its operations amounted to 1,314 million tonnes, a 7,7 percent decline from 1,424 m tonnes in 2014.
“This (tonnage) follows the dry conditions in South Africa and, in Zimbabwe, production in the 2014/15 year that did not yet benefit from the new/replanting of cane that commenced with the dam levels having recovered early in 2014,” the group announced in a voluntary trading statement for the year ended 31 March 2015 released on Wednesday.
The group operates in about 27 locations in six countries- South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
South Africa was down to 541,000 tonnes from 634,000 tonnes, Mozambique was up 271,000 tonnes from 249,000 tonnes and the raw sugar equivalent in Swaziland was 57,000 tonnes compared to 53,000 tonnes previously.
As a result of lower production, the group said operating profit from the various sugar operations is expected to total approximately R806 million for the year, down 11 percent from the 2014 figure of R908 million.