By ANA SOVA
Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) financial result for the financial year ended 31st May 2017 reflected a mixed performance.
This was revealed by FSC Chief Executive officer, Graham Clark following the corporation’s annual general meeting that was held at the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka on 23 November.
Clark said the 2017 turnover significantly declined by 38 per cent however, the net loss improved by 18.5 per cent compared to 2016 financial year.
“The decrease in turnover for financial year 2017 was mainly due to adverse impact of Cyclone Winston on the cane production, quality of cane and hence reduced sugar make,” he said.
Clark said the Corporation’s share of proceeds was $43.0 million compared to $58.7 million in the previous year.
He adds the trading loss for the financial year 2017 was $18.5 million whilst loss from operations was $39.6 million compared to a loss of $7.7 million and $26.1 million, respectively for the previous year.
“The operating loss for 2017 was $45.0 million compared to a loss of $53.4 million in the previous year.”
Clark said the net loss for 2016 was higher due to a $10.2 million allowance for impairment on capital works in progress.
“Also, an allowance for impairment loss on property, plant and equipment of $24.0 million was recorded in the books. No impairment adjustment was necessary for the 2017 financial year,” he said.
Clark said the Corporation is forecasting a marked reduction in net loss for the financial year 2018.
“This is due to improvement in operational and factory efficiencies as well as rigorous approach to cost control from management,” he said.
Clark revealed total cane crushed in 2017 increased by 18 per cent year on year which he said was a commendable effort after the damages of TC Winston in 2016 and floods in February 2017.
He adds the 2017 crop was 20 per cent lower than forecast, largely due to the adverse impact of dry weather across the cane belt.
Sugar production increased by 29 per cent compared to last year and TCTS improved by nine per cent.
Clark said mill stoppages at national level reduced significantly recording a decline of 21 per cent and 19 per cent in Inside and Outside Stops respectively.
“The molasses percent cane was reduced by nine per cent. This was possible through regular process follow-ups and the implementation of the right boiling formulae after review every 24 hours,” he said.
Joint Venture Farms
FSC has announced the approval of its Board on 23 November, to accelerate Joint Venture Farm Development with local community land owning units.
Clark revealed that in addition to the are of 158 hectares already developed by joint ventures, a further 900 hectares is being secured for planting of sugarcane in 2017 and 2018.
“This is a further contribution to the strategic goal of the industry to increase the area under cane by 2023,” he said.