Illovo Sugar Ltd, the South African unit of international group Associated British Foods, posted an 18% rise in full-year earnings today. However, this was slightly lower than the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
The company said diluted headline earnings per share for the year to the end of March hit 132.5 cents, up from 112.1 cents the year before. Illovo is Africa’s biggest producer of sugar with operations in South Africa, Malawi, Zambia, Swaziland, Tanzania and Mozambique but its earnings reflect a fall of 7% in sugar production to 1.526 million tonnes. The second year of drought in the KwaZulu-Natal cane growing province was blamed for the fall in output, however, the company has said it expects a new record volume of group cane production in the current 2012/13 season.