- Refined sugar production down 9.3%
- Sales volumes dropped by 12%
- CCF registered a decline in volumes on low disposable incomes
Harare – Starafrica’s Goldstar Sugars Harare (GSSH) recorded a slump in production and sales volumes in the year ended 31 March 2020 compared to the prior comparative period due to power and water supply shortages.
The unit’s refined sugar output in the period under review declined by 9.3% from 72 252 tonnes in the prior year to 65 568 tonnes.
The Group Chairman, Joseph Mutizwa attributed the decline to prolonged power outages experienced in July and August 2019 and intermittent water supplies which adversely affected output at the sugar refining plant during the year under review.
Volumes sold were down 12% to 63 993 tonnes from 71 683 tonnes in the prior comparative period.
The sales volumes were in line with production and included exports generated from new markets that were developed in the region during the year under review.
Mutizwa stated that the GSSH plant continued to be certified by The Coca Cola Company (TCCC) as well as Food Safety certification under the FSSC 22000 series, enabling the Group to supply products to TCCC franchisees in the Southern Africa region and beyond.
Country Choice Foods (CCF), another unit of the Group registered an 8% decline in volumes due to low disposable incomes, a result of the hyperinflationary environment currently obtaining in the country.
In addition, the baking industry which is one of CCF’s major markets experienced shortages of flour for some time.
The Group’s properties business recorded a decrease in turnover from ZWL$ 4.4 million due to relatively lower rentals that obtained during the year under review consequent upon the economic downturn which affected most of the tenants.
According to Mutizwa, Tongaat Hulett Botswana (THB) continued to dominate the Botswana sugar market, recording a profit after tax of ZWL$34.6 million of which the Group’s share was ZWL$11.5 million after converting the earnings into Zimbabwean dollars at the official exchange rate as at 31 March 2020.
For the ensuing year and beyond the Group aims to focus on growing its export markets in the region and expects to double the volumes achieved in the year under review.
The phased refurbishment of the dry section of the sugar refining plant (Secondary Plant) is ongoing and has seen major work being carried out on the boilers, the centrifugal machines, the vapour duct and the driers.
“Outstanding refurbishments are expected to be completed in the ensuing year, thus enabling the Group to meet forecast local and export demand”, Mr. Mutizwa said.
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