Tongaat Hulett annual loss improves, revenue up 18%
JOHANNESBURG - South African agriculture and agri-processing company Tongaat Hulett said on Friday it had reduced its basic loss per share from continuing operations to 212 cents and headline loss per share to 211 cents in the year ended March, improvements of 84 percent and 83 percent respectively over 2019.
The company said its better results were delivered in a market characterised by weak economic growth as well as significant business uncertainty and volatility.
"The key focus in 2020 has been on ensuring the long-term sustainability of the group, the protection of 23,000 jobs and safeguarding of the interests of shareholders, funders and other stakeholders," it said.
"Tongaat Hulett continues to implement decisive steps to stabilise and restructure its businesses to become more profitable and sustainable. It is encouraging that operational drivers are beginning to reflect notable advancement on several fronts and that this is translating into improved financial performance."
Gross revenue from continuing operations increased by 18 percent to R15.382 billion (US$884 million), reflecting solid performances in the operations and an improved mix towards more profitable local sales.
Tongaat Hulett said it had applied hyperinflation accounting for the first time in the 2020 financial year for its operations in Zimbabwe, which experienced compound inflation of 676 percent from March 2019 to March 2020.
This, together with the official interbank exchange rate used to translate the results in rand being impacted by liquidity shortages more than the underlying economics in the country, increased revenue in Zimbabwe by 37 percent. Revenue for the continuing operations excluding Zimbabwe increased by seven percent.
The company said it had experienced marked improvements in operational performance across all sugar operations with its Xinavane refinery in Mozambique achieving pleasing maiden production volumes and earnings.
The property operation concluded new land transactions amounting to R144 million during the period, while the starch and glucose operation, now classified as discontinued, delivered a good performance with increased demand in the alcoholic beverages helping to offset the impact of higher maize prices.
The South African operations produced significantly improved results across multiple areas of the business, including production, productivity and overall cost management.
This recovery culminated in a notable decline in the operating loss in the South African sugar operations despite a number of once-off costs resulting from the turnaround initiatives in the business
- African News Agency (ANA)