HARARE, June 6 (The Source) – Hippo Valley Estates, the local unit of South African sugar processor Tongaat Hullet reported an annual loss of $8, 5 million from an after tax profit of $7,3 million last year as production declined 11 percent.
Sugar production for the year to March 31 dropped to 204,000 tonnes from 228,000 tonnes due to a 15 percent decline in deliveries from private farmers and poor growing conditions.
Capacity utilization dropped to 64 percent from 71 percent last year.
The group incurred an operating loss of $6, 2 million from a profit of $16, 2 million last year.
Revenue for the year amounted to $116, 8 million compared to $146, 8 million last year.
An attributable loss of 4, 4 cents per share was recorded for the year compared to earnings of 3, 8 cents per share achieved in the prior year.
Sugar exports fell 45 percent to 98,000 tonnes largely as a result of lower production volumes. Of these 9,000 tonnes were exported into the regional markets while 74,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes s were exported to the European Union and the United States respectively.
Export revenues were also negatively impacted by lower international sugar prices.
Total industry sugar production for the 2016/17 season is estimated between 379,000 tonnes and 440,000 tonnes compared to 412,000 tonnes produced in the 2015/16 season.