HARARE, June 4 (The Source) – Tongaat Hullet’s Zimbabwe unit on Wednesday reported a five percent dip in sugar production to 228,000 tonnes in the full year to March 31 due to reduced cane deliveries from outgrowers and low water supplies.
The company owns Hippo Valley and Triangle estates and sugar mills in Zimbabwe’s Lowveld region, which have a combined installed milling capacity in excess of 4,8 million tonnes of cane annually and over 640,000 tonnes of sugar.
A total of 1.7 million tonnes of cane was crushed during the season compared to 1.8 million in the 2014 season of which only 745,000 tonnes came from outgrowers.
The company bemoaned “the negative impact of low dam levels for irrigation at the end of 2013, which only recovered in 2014.”
Revenue for the year at $146, 8 million was up eight percent from $136, 1 million the previous year.
Tongaat Hullet has plans to increase its outgrowers by 20 percent to over 1,000 by 2017 from the current 857.
The company has been working with government and local communities to support sugar cane outgrowers in the region as part of an empowerment programme prescribed by the state.
Profit after tax was down 15 percent from $7,7 million to $6,5 million, impacting negatively on earnings per share (EPS) which dropped to 3,8 cents from the 4,7 cents achieved in the prior year.