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Sugar exports to EU, United States grow

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Zimbabwe exported more raw sugar to the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) for the year ended March 31 2011 compared to the same period last year due to the improvement in the mill after the successful completion of its refurbishment exercise in the last two years.

Tongaat Hullet said in its trading update on Wednesday that 133 000 tonnes of raw sugar were exported to EU and US under the preferential market access area compared to 123 000 tonnes last year same period.

“The late start to the 2010/11 milling campaign, following the extensive rehabilitation programme, resulted in 95 385 tonnes of cane being diverted for crushing at Triangle as well as approximately 1 400 hectares being carried over for harvest at the commencement of the 2011/12 season,” the company said.

Tongaat said demand for both the domestic, EU and US markets were expected to remain strong in the near future.

The sugar industry expects a sugar production for the 2011/12 season to increase to between 360 000 and 380 000 tonnes of sugar and improved cane age and yields. Tongaat Hullet expects an output of between 150 000 and 170 000 22% above last year figures in the 2011/12 season.

The company recorded a revenue of $88,4 million for the year ended March 2011 while operating profit and headline earning totalled $12,2 million compared to March 2010 when $18,4 million was recorded.

“The quantum of the increase in the value of growing crops in 2010/11 was substantially lower than that of 2009/10 due to the re-establishment of the sugar cane crop and a greater price recovery in 2009/10,” Tongaat said.

Net finance costs for the company stood at $3,7 million from $751 00 due to increased borrowings in the business.

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