Sugar production up by 29%

ZIMBABWE'S sugar production has increased by 29 percent this year, an investment analyst has confirmed.

Phenias Mandaza, an analyst who compiled a report about company performance on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, said national sugar production in 2011 was 33 000 tonnes, up by 29 percent last year. He said Hippo Valley Estates Limited (Hippo) contributed 131 000 tonnes to this total. The Masvingo-based Hippo Valley is listed on the ZSE.

The firm's revenue stood at $88 418 000 in March, 2011, but is expected to shot up to $107 991 450 during the same period next year. Operating profit was $12 175 000 in March and is expected to be $23 326 715. Its share price stands at 109c, down from 110c last week.

Until September 31, this year, sugar recoveries at Hippo Valley increased to 83,18 percent from 67,76 percent. At least 1 008 700 tonnes of cane were crushed during the year. The analyst said 23,6 percent of the cane crushed during the year 2011 came from private farmers.

Hippo Valley says it forecast to yield between 360 000 to 380 000 tonnes of sugar, with the company's production estimated at between 150 000 to 170 000 tonnes.

Zimbabwe's sugar industry has an installed capacity of between 360 000 and 380 000 tonnes of sugar with the company's production estimated at between 150 000 to 170 000 tonnes. The country's sugar industry has an installed capacity of 600 000 tonnes. Half of this comes from Hippo Valley.

"The country's sugar industry is on a recovery programme to restore these capacities through improving cane yields and re-establishing the private cane farmers via various means of support," Mandaza said in his analysis.

Hippo Valley Estates is among the top performers on the ZSE.

Post published in: Agriculture

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