LISTED sugar processor, Star Africa Corporation Limited (SACL) will soon embark on a massive retooling exercise following the success of a Secondary Scheme of Arrangement which has so far managed to settle 99.8 percent of dues to creditors.
SACL was saddled with a US$19.7 million debt and almost got liquidated in 2013 before an initial scheme of arrangement was put in place to get the company out of the woods, albeit with little success.
But with the secondary scheme of arrangement having been a success, and its tenure set to expire in February 2022, ZWL654,451 has already been settled beginning of the 2022 financial year from the remaining ZWL1.3 million liabilities recorded at the close of the 2021 financial year ended on 31 March 2021.
“The Group has expunged the legacy liabilities and is now on a renewed drive to re-tool its operations, attend to plant downtime through replacement of critical machinery and grow its market share locally and in the region,” said SACL chairman, Joseph Mutizwa in the statement accompanying the company financials.
During the just ended year, at the Group subsidiary, Goldstar Sugars Harare (GSSH) a fire brought down the raw sugar warehouse which resulted in a decrease in production of 9 percent.
“The phased refurbishment of the dry section of the sugar refining plant (Secondary Plant) will be accelerated in the ensuing year, with work having commenced on replacement of centrifugal machines, rehabilitation of the raw sugar warehouse and procurement of an effluent treatment plant using internally generated funds and foreign currency acquired from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s auction system,”
“This is expected to yield significant efficiencies in the operations of the plant and reduce the plant downtime that negatively impacted production in the 2021 financial year,” said Mutizwa.
The company also announced that focus will be directed at growing the company’s footprint in the region and beyond in the ensuing financial year by tapping more into the export market buoyed by improved production quantities and The Coca Cola Company (TCCC) full authorization to supply bottler ingredients to TCCC’s entire Africa Operating Unit.
The Group envisages a resumption of exports to the Botswana market in the 2022 financial year which will increase revenue and foreign currency earnings.
Meanwhile, Turnover for the year ended March 31, 2021 increased by 23 percent to ZWL5.08 billion compared with ZWL4.12 billion realized in the prior year.