Starafrica increases production levels

Starafrica increases production levels
Published: 24 November 2017
Listed sugar refinery firm, starafrica corporation, has increased production capacity of crystalised sugar by 50 percent to 450 tonnes a day from 300 following the completion of its secondary plant upgrade. Inside sources close to starafrica told The Herald Business that the company is expecting to increase its production capacity around the festive season as there will be a high demand for sugar.

Said the source: "We are happy that we have completed the integration of primary and secondary plants into one unit. The primary plant is producing around 600 tonnes per day and that sugar will be further processed into crystals.

"The company seeks to buttress that consolidated performance with the upgrade of the crystallisation side of the plant, which helps to refine sugar into crystals. We hope this will help the company to be more efficient and internationally competitive.

"As a result of the improved efficiency, we are producing surplus sugar for all local market segments and it is our great anticipation that this will help us to produce more sugar for the export market so that we can be a force to reckon with in Africa."

Due to excess demand for the commodity from Delta Beverages and wholesalers around the country, starafrica is moving towards increasing production levels even further during the festive season. Local sugar producers used to be crowded out of the market by imports but Government's intervention has provided relief.

Overall, the company expects to cut back on losses during the current financial year. National Social Security Authority, which holds a 26 percent shareholding in the sugar processor, invested $7 million in the plant's upgrade. The company is also undergoing staff rationalisation to reduce costs, consequently around 100 workers are expected to be culled due to technological developments that allows less workers to monitor the whole process through computers.

Starafrica's revenues climbed 75 percent to $32,6 million in the year ended March 31, driven by improved production at its Goldstar Sugars Harare and profitability at Country Choice Foods. Losses narrowed 42 percent to $5,8 million on low finance costs, which dropped 53 percent to $2,6 million.

The sugar refinery is still struggling as its total assets stood at $43,5 million, which is way lower than liabilities ($84,5 million). A new scheme of arrangement agreed to by creditors in November 2016 resulted in a $2,5 million injection into the business. Due to an array of measures that the company is undertaking, great improvement is expected in the next half year results.
- the herald
Tags: Starafrica,


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