Zambia Sugar is on course to record their strongest performance to date with the announcement from the company that indicates that company’s earnings per share (EPS) will be approximately 68% higher.
The company that is a fully integrated sugar company that cultivates sugarcane, processes it into sugar and other sugar by-products also generates its own electricity which it supplements during the off season, had seen headline earnings for the year ended August 2018 increased by 71% % to K153 million and headline earnings per share increased from 28.1 to 48.2 ngwee per share, according to the company’s audited financial statements published on November 8, 2018.
“In accordance with the Lusaka Securities Exchange (“LuSE”) Listings Requirements, the Board of Directors of Zambia Sugar PLC (the “Company”) hereby advises the Shareholders of the Company that the Earnings per Share (EPS) for the half year ended 28 February 2019 is expected to be approximately 68% higher than that for the half year ended 28 February 2018”, read a statement from Zambia Sugar published on Stock Exchange news on Friday 12thApril in Lusaka.
Towards the end of 2018, the company had made a number of strategic initiatives that saw the introduction of a smaller sized sugar pack that was targeted for the Mass Market. “The introduction of an affordable pack range was in direct response to the economic needs of consumers who are showing increasing desire for smaller and lower cost pack sizes”, read a statement published in the Daily Mail attributed to CEO Rabecca Katowa issued in Lusaka in October 2018 following the launch of the new product.
Consumer prices continue to be affected by the inflation rate. At the time of the aforementioned announcement of the introduction of a new product, the annual Inflation rate for the month of October had increased to 8.3 percent from 7.9 percent that was recorded in September 2018. This meant that Rabecca and her team had introduced a product at the right time and with the recent announcement at half year showing improved performance, she will be well pleased with the strategic initiative and the report coming from Faith Mukutu, her CFO and supreme “bean counter” when she presents her with the unaudited half year results.
On the stock market, the Zambia Sugar security has over the last 6 months outperformed the LuSE All Share Index. However, most recently the share price took a sharp dip towards the end of March 2019 losing 7.06% of the share value. Fortunately, investors soon got over the scare of capital loses as the security recovered. The price movement is largely influenced by buyer and seller behaviour. In an illiquid market, spot decisions may lead to share prices falling or rising.