Trading statement for the year to 31 March 2011


Tongaat Hulett Limited
(Registration number 1892/000610/06)
Share code: TON
ISIN ZAE000096541


Tongaat Hulett issues the following voluntary trading statement for the year to 31 March 2011.

The past year continued to be characterised by counteractive factors. Progress towards fully utilising Tongaat Hulett’s installed sugar milling capacity of some 2 million tons per annum was hampered by the severe drought in the 2009/10 growing period in South Africa, coupled with poor growing conditions in Mozambique in the early part of 2010. This led to overall sugar production that was the lowest in more than 10 years. Exchange rates have been less favourable than in the prior year. Sugar realisations in the past year in the Mozambique local market and on exports from South Africa were constrained. Favourable prices were achieved on exports from Mozambique and Zimbabwe into the European Union. Tongaat Hulett’s sugar production in Zimbabwe and Mozambique increased by 29% and 25% respectively. The results of the starch operation improved substantially. The sale of development land remained depressed in the current economic climate.

Tongaat Hulett’s profit from operations for the year to 31 March 2011 is expected to be R1,338 billion compared to R1,500 billion earned in the comparative 12 months to 31 March 2010. This includes the South African agriculture, milling and refining operations making a loss of R7 million (2010: profit of R136 million). Profit from the Mozambique sugar operations was R135 million (2010: R141 million), the Zimbabwe sugar operations was R454 million (2010: R518 million), Swaziland was R17 million (2010: R51 million) and profit from the downstream value added activities was R241 million (2010: R200 million). Profit from the starch operations increased to R303 million (2010: R251 million) and profit from the land conversion and development operations is R166 million (2010: R194 million). A net gain of R29 million is reflected on the centrally accounted and consolidation items (2010: R9 million gain).

Operating profit is expected to have increased to R1,606 billion from R1,535 billion in the prior year. It includes an amount of R288 million (which is not included in the profit from operations as disclosed in the income statement), relating to the recognition of an accounting surplus in the South African defined benefit pension fund following the formal splitting of the fund between Tongaat Hulett and Hulamin, as required by international financial reporting standards.

Headline earnings are expected to be R806 million for the year to 31 March 2011, compared to the R815 million earned in the same period last year. Headline earnings per share for the year are expected to be 760 cents per share (12 months to 31 March 2010: 789 cents per share). 

This trading statement is issued in accordance with the JSE Listings Requirements. The above information has not been reported on by the auditors.

The results for the year ended 31 March 2011 are scheduled for release on Monday, 30 May 2011.

16 May 2011