By Brian Hantuba

DESPITE a relatively harsh economic environment, ZAMBIA Sugar PLC has recorded a profit of K1.248 billion for the financial year ending 31st August, 2023 following a 28% increase in exports.

The Sugar giant collected K5.8 billion in revenue largely driven by a 12% improvement in the weighted average selling price for domestic and export sales.

Meanwhile, Zambia Sugar Secretary, Harriet Katongo, says the company paid an outstanding long-term debt of K42 million and that the institution’s Directors have since recommended a once-off special dividend of 158 ngwee per share.

This follows three years of earnings above K1 billion and the repayment of all long-term debt.

She says the Board has also recommended a dividend payout of 349 ngwee per share to be considered for approval by shareholders at the Annual General Meeting scheduled for 28th November, 2023.

Katongo notes that sales to the export market increased due to strong regional demand, good logistics management and availability of stocks following a slowdown in domestic demand.

She reveals that domestic sales volume were negatively impacted by the influx of illegal imports and low disposable income for rural households as compared to the previous year.

The Company Secretary says the firm responded by implementing promotions and intense advertising campaigns and managed to recover some of the lost market share.

With this positive outlook, Zambia Sugar Country Managing Director, Oswald Magwenzi, says the company is poised to focus on creating mutually beneficial partnerships such as promoting and enhancing the out-grower programme.

Other partnerships will include local supplier development as well as continued investment in its corporate social responsibility projects like rehabilitation of roads, the drainage system and upgrading of some selected schools and clinics.

Magwenzi states that in the just ended financial year, Zambia Sugar embarked on various projects like the rehabilitation of Ndeke clinic – which is the biggest in Mazabuka, sponsorship of sports initiatives and upgrading of some public roads on the Estate to bituminous standard.

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