from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – TONGAAT Hulett is counting the cost of the civil unrest in South Africa and hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, which impacted on its financial performance for the six months ended September 30.
The civil riots impacted on the KwaZulu-Natal-based sugar producer to the tune of R158 million (US$10 million) amid delays in land sales.
The Zimbabwe sugar operations benefitted from buoyant local sales but were materially impacted by the effects of hyperinflation.
Only in Mozambique did sugar operations deliver strong growth in operating profit on the back of robust local sales.
Group revenue for the half-year was up 5 percent to R8,5 billion.
Operating profit was down 23 percent to R1,3 billion.
No dividend was declared.
Tongaat reported financial performance is notably skewed by hyperinflation, the disposal of the Namibian and Eswatini operations, which contribute to the comparative results, as well as restatements of certain prior year numbers.
The company forecast in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, water security for multiple seasons arising from the full dam levels will support improved sugarcane yields and increased cane supply to the mills, thereby increasing operating efficiencies and cost competitiveness in these regions.
In South Africa, there is an intensified drive to reinvest in the asset base of the sugar business to improve the operational performance and maximize efficiencies and economies of scale.
“We expect that lower debt levels will further benefit finance costs in 2022,” the company stated.
– CAJ News