Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Zambian unit of Illovo lifts sugar output 62% as cane crop grows

May 5, 2010 - Reuters

Sugar production at Zambia Sugar, a unit of South Africa's Illovo Sugar, rose 62 percent to 315 000 tons in the year to March, the company announced yesterday.

The latest production figures edge Zambia Sugar closer to its forecast annual sugar output of 440 000 tons by next year, following expansion and upgrades carried out to the mill and plantations.

The company's production in the previous year was 194 000 tons.

Company secretary Lovemore Sievu said Zambia Sugar, the country's largest sugar producer, had recorded a rise in output despite off-season rains and was on course to raise production further.

Zambia Sugar's operating profit rose to 159 billion Zambian kwacha (R251 million) from 78 billion kwacha the previous year as a result of an increased cane crop from its Nakambala Estates as well as the acquisition of the major Nanga Farms.

"The factory is poised to further consolidate expansion gains and another significant increase in sugar production closer to the installed capacity is anticipated for 2010/2011," Sievu said in a statement.

"Good climatic conditions and increased cane hectarage will further increase sugar cane deliveries to the mill in the year ahead."

Sievu said exports to the EU increased to 90 000 tons during the 12 months to March from 40 000 tons in the previous season.