Zambia Sugar Plc has posted strong results for the financial year ended 31 March 2013 with production exceeding 400, 000 tons for the first time.
According to final results obtained in Lusaka today, Zambia Sugar Plc saw its domestic sales for the year increased by 10% to 159 000 tons of sugar representing 41% of total sales.
Its sales to EU markets decreased to 121 000 tons in the year, whilst exports into regional markets increased by 23% to 104 000 tons.
It said it benefited from favourable prices in these export markets.
The company additionally produced speciality sugars for export to the EU markets and syrup for the local consumer market.
It said it continued to benefit from its well-established sugar marketing and distribution network across the country.
The firm’s operating profit improved from ZMW307 million in the previous year to ZMW316 million in 2012/13.
Its net finance costs decreased from ZMW155 million in the previous year to ZMW142 million in 2012/13 following ongoing repayment of the expansion related loan.
The company’s headline earnings for the year increased to ZMW137 million from ZMW125 million in the previous year.
Cane delivered by the estate increased from 1.90 million tons in the previous year to 1.94 million tons while Outgrowers delivered another record crop of 1.30 million tons cane, compared with 1.15 million tons in the previous year.
It said it is particularly pleasing that the Magobbo smallholder project, made up of 94 smallholder farmers, delivered 71 800 tons of cane at an average yield of 166 tons cane per hectare.
“In addition, the other smallholder scheme, the Kaleya Smallholders Company Limited (Kascol) supplied their second highest tonnage on record of 258 000 tons. Combined small grower cane deliveries for the 2012/13 season amounted to 10% of the total cane supply
In excess of ZMW630 million (2012: ZMW520 million) was injected into the economy through payments to employees, growers for the supply of cane, government in the form of taxation and to lenders of expansion capital in the form of interest.
In addition, a substantial portion of goods and services were procured locally.
The company remains committed to meaningful corporate social responsibility and in the past year, significant support was given to communities in the form of primary health care, education, sport and cultural activities.
An interim dividend of ZMW4.00 per 1 000 shares (2012: ZMW3.50) was paid to shareholders on 21st December 2012.
A second interim dividend of ZMW5.80 per 1 000 shares (2012: ZMW5.40) has been declared in respect of the year ended 31st March 2013.
This will result in a total dividend for the year of ZMW10.80 per 1 000 shares (2012: ZMW9.90), an increase of 9% year on year.