ZSR Corporation Ltd this week released results that undershot market expectations by a considerable margin, but its sugar business showed signs of coming out of the woods with an improvement
in dollar terms to the period ended March 31.
The results, described by management as satisfactory, were 200 cents short of the average market expectations gathered from seven stockbroking firms.
The company notched an earnings per share of 8 804 cents well below the 10 420 cents per share that was anticipated by the market.
The struggling sugar firm however managed to creep back into profit courtesy of a peak in earnings during the period under review.
The domestic sugar business realised a profit of $1,9 billion compared to a loss of $826 million recorded during the comparative period last year.
Total tonnes sold to the domestic market slumped some 74 000 tonnes to 112 017 tonnes, down from 184 401 during the same period last year.
The perennial shortage of coal and raw sugar also impacted negatively on the lucrative exports to regional countries.
A total of 26 000 tonnes of sugar were sold into the region against a target of 31 600 tonnes.
The figures represent a 5,9 % slide in the exports on last year’s numbers.
ZSR chief executive officer Pattison Sithole said the exports contributed 15% to the group’s earnings.
Turning to the results, the group posted a $456 billion profit compared to $48 billion last year. Group attributable profit to shareholders rose 719% to $33,4 billion ahead of $4 billion recorded last year.
Sithole said the company’s growing wholesale was the major contributor to group profits.
The division, which includes Red Star and the newly-acquired Advance Wholesale, posted $19,4 billion in profits.
Sithole said the wholesale division was beginning to recover from the subdued sales in the last two months.
“May has seen an improvement in the wholesale business. We are beginning to see improved sales,” said Sithole.