Opinion

Editorial: Sound Governance Leads Fiji Sugar Corporation To Trading Profit and Growth

FSC is optimistic of a good outing for 2019, especially with major buyers from around the world now chasing sugar from Fiji. Farmers and the sugar stakeholders should be mindful of this rather than complaining and making false claims against FSC.
07 Feb 2019 18:02
Editorial: Sound Governance Leads Fiji Sugar Corporation To Trading Profit and Growth
FSC

Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) will surely learn and engage more with farmers after the National Sugar Sector Policy Consultations.

Hundreds turned up at the Labasa and Wainikoro sugar consultations.

Farmers have raised their concerns, some obviously politically driven.

FSC is optimistic of a good outing for 2019, especially with major buyers from around the world now chasing sugar from Fiji. Farmers and the sugar stakeholders should be mindful of this rather than complaining and making false claims against FSC.

FSC chief executive officer Graham Clark made it clear to a gathering on Tuesday at Wailevu Ganesh Temple in Labasa that FSC’s financial statement is a public document.

He highlighted this after a claim during the consultation that no farmer has seen FSC’s balance sheet.

How can Surendra Lal of the National Farmer’s Union, claim that when Fiji Sun and other media published the FSC financial statement late last year:

Financials – Profit after 10 years

FSC recorded a consolidated trading profit of $800,000 – a feat achieved after more than 10 years for 2017. 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 in¬creased by $54.2m compared to $43m the previous year.

FSC chairman Vishnu Mohan while making the announcement on October 6, 2018, following the company’s annual general meeting in Lautoka, attributed this to the sound governance that has been brought into the running of the company.

Financial Report Highlights for 2017:

FINANCIAL RESULTS:

  • Corporation’s share of proceeds was $54.2m compared to $43m the previous year
  • Significant improvement in loss from operations to $10.3m compared to $39.6m in the previous year
  • Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) significantly improved from negative $19.3m the previous year to positive $0.5 m for the year
  • Operating loss for the year was $24.6m, compared to a loss of $45m the previous year
  • A total of $13.3m was invested in property, plant and equipment compared to $8.7m 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 compared to 10.9 the previous year and the total sugar exported was 152,569 tonnes compared to 141,612 tonnes the previous year. So how is this not public knowledge.

Yes of course farmers need some sort of financial literacy education, that is why we have this sugar consultations to get information on what farmers face and what they want and need.

Mr Clark is person who lives up to his word and it has been attributed to the sound governance that has brought FSC to what it is now and will continue to grow.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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