Mumias Sugar Company sunk dipper into the red in the year ending June 2018 on booking a Sh15.1 billion loss, which is more than double the previous loss of Sh6.8 billion that was recorded in 2017. The miller, which has in the recent years received billions of shillings in bailout from the government, blamed the losses on shortage of sugarcane for milling, which interrupted its operations.
The firm also attributed the steep rise in losses on a 101 percent increase on impairment charges to the plant and machinery to Sh4.9 billion from Sh2.6 billion charged in the previous year.
“The acute cane shortage significantly hindered the plant throughputs with cane delivered dropping by 32 per cent to 283,435 tonnes compared with 417,347 in the last financial year,” says the board’s chairman Kennedy Ngumbau. The turnover for the year under review declined to Sh1.37 billion down from Sh2.09 billion in the previous season. The firm says it reduced its administrative expenses by 17 per cent due to prudent cost management that saw overheads drop from Sh2.3 billion previously to 1.9 billion last year. The firm delayed results for 15 months leaving investors in the dark as the last release of results was in November 2017.
The miller’s board missed the October 2018 deadline and applied for one month extension from the Capital markets Authority, a deadline that it also missed. It was then granted three more months to release the results. The second deadline had lapsed last month.
Mumias linked the second delay to a November 9 government decision to set up a task force to review the policy, legal and regulatory framework of the sugar industry. It will be another dry year for Mumias shareholders as the directors have not recommended a dividend.