Firm demand brings Hippo Valley sugar sales up 7% in FY2021

  • Total industry sugar sale volumes up 7%
  • Industry sugar export sales up 29%
  • Sugar production decline by 4%

HARARE – ZSE-listed sugar producer, Hippo Valley Estates recorded a 7% increase in total industry sugar sales volumes for the year ended 31 March 2021 owing to continued firm demand in the local market despite Covid-19 induced low disposable incomes experienced during the period.

The increase was from a 2020 total industry sugar volume of 413 000 tonnes to 440 000 tonnes in 2021.

“The Company’s share of total industry sugar sales volume of 440 000 tonnes (2020: 413 000 tonnes) for the year under review was 50% (2020: 48%),” the Company’s Chief Executive Officer Aiden Mhere said in a statement accompanying the financials.

Industry export sales for the year were up 29% to 115 000 tonnes from a comparative 2020 of   89 000 tonnes driven by a growth in the Kenya market despite a temporary suspension of sugar imports into that market in June 2020.

Mhere said that the company is looking at maximising local market requirements to generate additional foreign currency.

“Marketing focus is on maximising local market requirements with residual stocks being allocated to regional and international premium markets to generate additional foreign currency for the Company and the nation,” he said.

Revenue for the year increased by 34% to ZWL$16.8 billion from ZWL$12.5 billion recorded in the same period last year due to the increased export volumes.

However, sugar production declined by 4% to 204 384 tonnes from a prior year comparative of 212 004 tonnes owing to lower mill efficiencies and bad weather conditions which impacted cane quality.

Cane harvested by the company increased by 3% to 1043 774 tonnes while private farmers harvest declined by 14% to 592 722 tonnes during the period.

Going forward, total sugar production for the forthcoming 2021/22 production season is expected to increase as the company took steps during the off-crop period to rehabilitate the mill whilst solar projects to augment electricity at critical water pumping installations are under consideration.

Total cane milled for the period remained stable at 1 691 935 tonnes, a slight increase from 1 696 342 tonnes recorded during the same period in the prior year.

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