Illovo prospects rosy as output rises
Johannesburg - Illovo Sugar [JSE:ILV] posted a 30% rise in first-half earnings on Thursday as output rose, and said it expects solid results ahead.
Illovo, a unit of Associated British Foods, said diluted headline earnings per share for the six months to end-September totalled 82 cents, compared with 62.9c a year earlier.
The firm - Africa's biggest sugar producer with operations in South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Mozambique - said revenue rose 25% to R5.7bn.
Illovo said full-year sugar output was likely to increase by as much as 15% from the previous season. The company produced 1.526 million tonnes of sugar last year.
"This increase will be driven by an increase in South Africa, where a return to more normal growing conditions will likely produce an increase in cane crushed," it said in a statement.
The company also said a recovery in sales in South Africa and Tanzania is expected in the second half of the year.
Illovo shares have gained 25% so far this year, compared with a 16% rise in the broader All Share [JSE:J203] index.