The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited Sees Decreased Profit Level of E179m as Russia/Ukraine Conflict Increases Input Costs

Published On: September 21, 2023Company: The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited (RSSC.sz)
What is the main impact of the Russia/Ukraine conflict on the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation's performance?
The Russia/Ukraine conflict led to steep increases in the cost of fuel, agrochemicals, process chemicals, and steel. This resulted in reduced cash generation for the Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation and a significantly lower profit level.

Summary

  • The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation (RSSC) faced numerous challenges in 2023, including abnormal winter rains and increased input costs related to the Russia/Ukraine conflict. This resulted in a decrease in total comprehensive income from E303m in 2021/22 to E179m.
  • Adverse weather conditions affected crop yields, and storms post-harvest negatively impacted yield expectations for the 2023/24 season.
  • High input costs related to global geopolitical inflation significantly reduced profit levels. However, there were positive prospects in the form of filled dams for irrigation and promising signs of increased profitability in the ethanol business.
  • RSSC continued with its expansion drive, securing debt financing for project continuation. It also initiated a S/4Hana ERP project that will improve work efficiency, lower IT costs and enhance data analysis for improved operational efficiencies.
  • RSSC acquired a 35% interest in Enviro Applied Products Limited, a company that uses a by-product of their ethanol production process, creating a downstream investment opportunity.
  • Numerous external factors, including climate change, pests, disease, and social unrest, negatively impacted crop yield and production. Despite these challenges, the organization’s business model remains focused on lowering costs through increased volumes.
  • RSSC prioritizes consolidating two statutory companies for business efficiency, fully implementing the S/4Hana Public Cloud-based ERP system, and optimizing data collection for ESG reporting.
  • Despite potential negative sentiments toward the sugar sector due to Tongaat Hulett difficulties, RSSC remains confident about its strong business principles and outlook. Weather predictions for drier conditions in the 2023/24 reporting period foster optimism for increased crop yield and sugar production.
  • Challenges related to load shedding in South Africa have flagged concerns about power supply security, leading the group to consider investing E200 million in an alternative energy project in the 2023/24 financial year. Despite this, the sugar markets have been favourable, and it is expected to continue growing with the population increase and improvements in living standards.

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About The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited (RSSC.sz)

The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited formerly (Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (RSSC) Limited) is the largest company in Swaziland with interests in sugar cane farming and manufacturing refined sugar products and ethanol for regional consumption and import to the rest of Africa and Europe. RSSC produces beverage-grade ethanol that is used in alcoholic beverages as well as pharmaceuticals and water treatment products. The company produces feints used to manufacture methylated spirits and bio gels. It also produces compressed molasses stillage used to produce liquid fertilisers. RSSC manages approximately 15 600 hectares of irrigated sugar cane on two estates leased from the Swazi Nation and manages an additional 5 000 hectares of half of third parties. It has capacity to produce 2.3 million tonnes of cane per season and about 430 000 tonnes of raw sugar per season. RSSC is a subsidiary of Tibiyo Taka Ngwane with headquarters in Simunye, Swaziland. The Royal Eswatini Sugar Corporation Limited is listed on the Eswatini Stock Exchange

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