Star Africa narrows HY loss to $1,3mln

Star Africa narrows HY loss to $1,3mln

HARARE, November 30 (The Source) – Sugar processor Star Africa Corporation’s narrowed its loss after tax by 60 percent in the half year period to September 30, from $3,3 million last year to $1,3 million on the back of improved efficiencies, sales and cost containment measures.

Revenue for the group increased 63 percent to $23,2 million compared to $14,3 million recorded in the previous period.

Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) increased from a negative of $314,397 in prior year to $1,9 million which is also higher than the full year $1,6 million recorded last year.

“The EBITDA was affected by the squeeze on the margins from decreasing selling prices which resulted in the earnings not being sufficient to fully cover the finance charges,” said company chairman, Joe Mutizwa.

Interest for the half year amounted to $3,1 million resulting in the company incurring a loss before tax of $1,3 million.

The group’s Gold Star Sugars Harare (GSSH) produced 31,023 tonnes up from 17,756 tonnes in the previous half.

Sales almost doubled from 17,740 tonnes to 30,238 tonnes.

Star Africa’s associate company, Tongaat Hulett Botswana recorded a profit of $1,14 million from which it has a share of $0,4 million.

Mutizwa said the company is still under a Secondary Scheme of Arrangement and some creditors have requested to have their debt converted to equity.

The group’s total assets stood at $47 million up from $43,5 million.

Mutizwa said the company was looking to expand its market coverage in the region.

“To that extent, the company has already completed the requisite export registrations with COMESA and SADC and is on marketing drive with a view of achieving firm sales before the end of the financial year,” Mutizwa said.

The company did not declare a dividend.