Johannesburg - Illovo Sugar [JSE:ILV] posted an 18% rise in
full-year earnings on Monday helped by cost cuts but the profit slightly lagged
analysts expectations as sugar output fell.
Illovo, a unit of Associated British Foods, said diluted
headline earnings per share for the year to the end of March totalled 132.5
cents from 112.1c the previous year.
The diluted headline earnings per share number was expected
to come in at 133.037c, according to an average estimate of six analysts polled
by Thomson Reuters.
The company, which is Africa’s biggest producer of the
sweetener with operations in South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Tanzania
and Mozambique, said sugar production fell 7%to 1.526 million tonnes.
Illovo said the decline in output was due to the impact of a
second year of drought in the dry land cane growing areas in South Africa’s
But the rise in sugar production elsewhere was insufficient
to offset the decline in South Africa, it said.
The company said it expected a new record volume of group
cane production in the current 2012/13 season.
Illovo shares have gained 5.5% so far this year, compared
with a 3% rise in Johannesburg’s All Share [JSE:J203] Index.