Agri-processing business Tongaat Hulett Zimbabwe operations contributed R364 million to the group profit, which expects a 14% increase in sugar output for the year.
This compared favourably to the R303m contributed in the previous half-year.
The company, which also has operations in South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland, said revenue rose to R6 027 billion from R4 072 billion last year.
“Sugar production for the year in Mozambique is expected to increase to be approximately 45% above last year.
Production in Zimbabwe should rise by 10% and in South Africa should increase by some 8% over that of last year,” said company chairperson Johannes Magwaza in a statement accompanying its interim half -year ended September 30.
“Total sugar production in Zimbabwe for the year is expected to be approximately 365 000 tonnes, an increase of 10% over last year, with increase coming from Hippo Valley.”
Magwaza said co-operation with the Zimbabwean government focused on successful rural sugarcane farming, which has seen 15 900 hectares allocated to 870 indigenous farmers.
He said these farmer were expected to deliver 488 000 tonnes from 9 100 hectares.
“The target is to uplift this to over 1,4 million tonnes of cane (equivalent to 180 000 tonnes of sugar) from the available hectares.
“This, together with Tongaat Hullets’ improvement of its own agricultural yields, is key to achieving the target of increasing sugar production in Zimbabwe to full milling capacity of 600 000 tonnes per annum,” he said.
Tongaat said the pace of planting new roots is targeted at 4 000 hectares per annum with 3 176 having been planted by the end of last month.
The groups’ diluted headline earnings per share for the six-months period totalled 462,6 cents.
Tongaat expects sugar production for the 2011/12 year to total 1 150 million tonnes from about 1 million tonnes in the previous year.
During the period under review both regional and export prices into the European Union remained firm despite recent reduction in sugar world prices.