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Illovo earnings up but lag expectations

May 28 2012 07:43
Reuters

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 KwaZulu-Natal province.

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.

 
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