Sugar producer Illovo on Thursday (15 November) reported a 28.81% rise in diluted headline earnings per share for the six months ended September to 169 cents from the previous corresponding period's 131.2 cents.
"The 2012/2013 sugar season has begun well‚ with our production at the half year up 17% and our half year operating profit on a seasonal basis increasing to R854m.
"This pleasing performance is on the back of an anticipated group cane production record for the season with a notable recovery in South Africa following excellent rainfall after the prior drought‚" said Graham Clark‚ managing director of Illovo.
Revenue jumped to R5.1bn from the previous period's R4bn due to a 17% hike in the group's sugar production.
"We have continued to focus on enhancing efficiencies across our operations and have benefited from better market conditions for sugar. We expect this positive momentum to continue for the full year‚" Clark said.
The group declared an interim dividend of 34 cents per share.
Illovo expects its sugar production for the full year to be between 10% and 15% higher than the previous year's production.
"This increase will be driven by an increase in South Africa‚ where a return to more normal growing conditions is likely to produce an increase in cane crushed‚ resulting in South African seasonal sugar output improving by between 30% and 35% compared with last year‚" Illovo said.
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