Tongaat reports interim loss and says capital raise is essential to turnaround strategy

Struggling Tongaat Hulett’s share price fell 7.8% yesterday, after it announced a headline loss of R254-million in the six months to September 2020 compared with the earnings of R59-million in the same period in 2020.

The group said, however, its turnaround strategy was continuing, and processes for a R4-billion capital raise had begun, with partial underwriting for R2-billion.

The weak results had been due to lower raw sugar production, land sales that were delayed by civil riots, hyperinflation in Zimbabwe, prior period restatements and a R158-million impact of civil unrest on profits.

On the positive side, sugar demand was strong across all geographies, there were market share gains, and improvements in ESG were implemented.

Initiatives to improve operations had begun and governance was strengthened, debt was cut, and cash flow improved.

The board said it remained committed to act on findings of the PwC forensic investigations relating to accounting irregularities announced by the group in 2019, pertaining to prior years.

Criminal case processes were under way and civil proceedings against the group’s previous leadership had been instituted.


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