NATION

FSC Records Profit After 10 Years

The Fiji Sugar Corporation recorded a consolidated trading profit of $800,000 – a feat achieved after more than 10 years. This compared to a loss of $18.5 million for the
06 Oct 2018 10:38
FSC Records Profit After 10 Years
Fiji Sugar Corporation chief executive officer Graham Clark (right) with stakeholders during the FSC annual general meeting in Lautoka on October 5, 2018. Photo: Charles Chambers

The Fiji Sugar Corporation recorded a consolidated trading profit of $800,000 – a feat achieved after more than 10 years.

This compared to a loss of $18.5 million for the previous year.

Also a significant change was made when the Corporation’s share in proceeds in­creased by $54.2m compared to $43m the pre­vious year.

FSC chairman Vishnu Mohan while mak­ing the announcement yesterday following the company’s annual general meeting in Lautoka, attributed this to the sound govern­ance that had been brought into the running of the company.

Mr Mohan said when he was asked to take over the reins of FSC two years ago by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, some peo­ple were surprised that he accepted the job because of the state the industry was in.

“Two years on, I don’t regret taking up the challenge.

“It has turned out to be a very good chal­lenge as this was an industry contributing to 10 per cent of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).”

At present it only contributes 1.8 per cent.

“That in itself creates a challenge of get­ting it back to 10 per cent and now it is far bigger because a lot of industries are growing, tourism in particular.”

The former ANZ chief executive officer told his management team that even if FSC reached five per cent as contribution to GDP that would be a significant achieve­ment.

“Because at the end of the day, you can­not take sugar out of the blood of Fijians, and me.

“When I looked at the challenge then, it looked pretty simple after looking at some of the documents that came to my desk.

“We had to have the right management team and the right structure and most im­portantly having good governance.

“To me, that was the most accurate thing to do from day one, which I spotted.

“Thankfully there has been a shift in the last two years.”

He said it was also important that they listened to the complaints, some of which he noted were valid.

Mr Mohan said everything in the industry had to be built on trust as they were so much lack of trust.

“What has really driven this ship was the partnership, we have formed with the grow­ers.

“When the PM asked me to take over FSC, he told me very clearly – ‘you run it the way you ran ANZ; I will leave the management in your hands.

“The biggest thing that has happened is we have de-politicised FSC to a large extent.

“We have run the Corporation like any oth­er organisation – the mercantile mentality.

“We have broken the barriers which were there, because of a lack of trust.”

Mr Mohan said when he interviewed FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark two years ago for the job, he said to him this was not a suit and tie job.

“This is about being in the fields, rolling up your sleeves, getting your hands dirty and be­ing there with the growers.

“At the end of the day, FSC’s business is all about cane and you need to get to the growers because you have to have cane coming to the mills and this will not happen by sitting in an office.”

He praised Mr Clark’s team which he said had helped change the industry around.

 

FIJI SUGAR CORPORATION’S HIGHLIGHTS:

FINANCIAL RESULTS

  • Corporation’s share of proceeds was $54.2 m compared to $43 m the previous year
  • Significant improvement in loss from operations to $10.3 m compared to $39.6 m in the previous year
  • Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) significantly improved from negative $19.3 m the previous year to positive $0.5 m for the year
  • Operating loss for the year was $24.6 m, compared to a loss of $45 m the previous year
  • A total of $13.3 m was invested in property, plant and equipment compared to $8.7 m the previous year.

OPERATIONS

  • A total of 1.63 million tonnes of sugar cane was crushed from an area of 38,040 hectares compared to 1.39 million tonnes from 36,795 hectares the previous year
  • Sugar production increased to 180,388 tonnes compared to 139,531 tonnes the previous year due mainly to improve cane production and Tonnes of Cane per Tonnes of Sugar (TCTS).
  • The TCTS ratio improved was 9.0 compared to 9.94 the previous year
  • Cane quality improved to 11.5 compare to 10.9 the previous year
  • Total sugar exported was 152,569 tonnes compared to 141,612 tonnes the previous year.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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