Illovo Sugar Ltd, Africa’s biggest producer of the sweetener, said on Monday its full-year profit fell 8 per cent due to softer global prices and lower output at its South African operations.
Headline earnings per share for the year to March fell to 179 cents from 194 cents a year earlier.
Headline EPS is the main profit measure in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.
Lower export prices to key regions such as the European Union were worsened by the weakening of the euro and the Brazilian real.
Tough global markets were offset by stronger demand in South Africa and Tanzania after the governments there took import protection steps against cheap and illegal sugar, it said.
Sugar production fell 1.76 million tons in the year from the previous year’s 1.83 million tons due to the drought and winter frost in Illovo’s home operations.
Illovo, which also operates in Malawi, Swaziland, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, said it expected a medium-term price recovery from the current six-year low in world sugar prices.