ZIMBABWE – Starafrica Corp has narrowed its loss to $3,2 million for the six months ended September 30 2014 compared to $5,2 million recorded same period last year after it managed to reduce finance costs. The group has continued to report significant losses in the last five years with a net loss for the year ended March 31 2014 of $12,2 million compared to $16,4 million in 2013.
Finance costs for the group stood at $2,2 million compared to $2,8 million during the prior year.
The group’s board chairman Joe Mutizwa said during the period under review the company’s core business did not trade due to the plant upgrade at Gold Star Sugars Harare.
“Production was adversely affected by the plant shutdown due to the implementation of the plant upgrade,” he said.
Mutizwa said the plant upgrade was in its final stages of commissioning and was expected to be complete by next month.
“Focus is on integration of new equipment with the old equipment so as to ensure that all the parameters contracted for with the supplier are met. Commissioning, which had been scheduled for completion in November 2014, is now anticipated to be completed by end of January 2015 owing to problems experienced with the integration aforesaid,” Mutizwa said.
The commissioning is expected to double output to 600 tonnes per day and it will also improve sugar yield, quality and operational efficiencies.
The group’s subsidiary Country Choice Foods output recorded an operating profit of $289 726 for the six months under review compared to $307 413 recorded same period last year.
The company is in negotiations and management is looking for buyers for the two business units Bluestar Logistics and the 33% shareholding in Tongaat Hulett Botswana.
The disposal of the unit would enable the company to raise funds to settle creditors and lenders.
The group liabilities exceeded total assets by $26,4 million from $16,7 million in 2013, while current liabilities exceeded current assets by $36,6 million.