ZIMBABWE Stock Exchange-listed Starafrica Corporation has reported a
$5,2 million loss for the six months to September due to a decline in revenue and an increase in finance costs.
Victoria Mtomba,Business Reporter
In a statement accompanying the financials, company chairman Joe Mutizwa said the group’s loss before tax from continuing operations stood at $4,1 million while discontinued operations incurred a loss before tax of $1,1 million.
Revenue for the group declined to $6,9 million from $17,3 million in the same period last year. Mutizwa said production at Goldstar Sugars Harare (GSSH) decreased by 44% to 416 tonnes due to inefficiencies from the use of antiquated plant and a three month plant shutdown due to civil work that was being carried out in preparation for the plant upgrade.
“Sales volumes were adversely impacted by lower priced sugar imports that flooded the domestic market and low production volumes consequent upon the three-month shutdown,” he said.
Mutizwa said representations had been done to ensure that locally produced sugar competes with imported dumped sugar.
Mutizwa said during the six-month period the company concluded a Scheme of Arrangement with creditors and lenders that would be settled over a three-year period.
He said: “The scheme entailed a restructuring of both the company’s debt and balance sheet, the disposal of Bluestar, Logistics and the company’s 33,3% shareholding in Tongaat Hullett Botswana Proprietary Limited to fund the requisite part settlements to lenders and creditors. It also facilitated a six-month moratorium to facilitate the plant upgrade at Goldstar Sugars Harare.”
He said the upgrade of the equipment was 70% complete in India and the first batch of the equipment was dispatched this month while the second batch would be delivered during the first half of next year.
“Civil works have been completed and the procurement of the local components for the plant upgrade is at an advanced stage.
Installation will commence in the latter half of January 2014 and commissioning is targeted for April 2014,”Mutizwa said.
The upgrade will increase the output from 300 to 600 tonnes per day.