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Sugar, land sales lift Tongaat’s profits

South Africa's Tongaat Hulett reported a 28 percent rise in first-half profit on Monday, benefiting from higher sugar and industrial land sales.

The agri-processing company said diluted headline earnings per share for the six months to end-September totalled 593.1 cents, from 462.6 cents last year.

Headline earnings are the main profit gauge in South Africa and exclude certain one-off and non-trading items.

Tongaat Hulett's main business is sugar production and milling but the company also has interests in land management and property development.

The company, which has operations in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland, said revenue for the half year rose 23 percent to 7.398 billion rand ($847 million).

It said sugar output for the full year was expected to increase by 8 percent to 15 percent. The company produced 1.15 million tonnes of sugar last year.

It declared an interim dividend of 150 cents per share, up from 120 cents per share last year. - Reuters

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