by Hadassah Egbedi for Ventures Africa
Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) recently announced a pre-tax profit of N14.22 billion for its third quarter which ended in September, 2015. A small increase, in comparison to the N13.97 billion pre-tax profit recorded a year ago. Just last week, reports showed a high turnover and profit margin for the company’s cement brand, Dangote Cement Plc.
The unaudited report of the past nine months shows a 5 percent gross profit increase from N18.63 billion last year, to N18.80 billion. Profit after tax increased to N9.34 billion from N9.15 billion in the same period in 2014. Production at Savannah Sugar, a subsidiary of the group, increased by over 300 tonnes, from 6,245 tonnes produced in 2014 to 6,610 tonnes this year.
Regarding the result, Abdullahi Sule, the deputy group managing director, said the company faced challenges getting sugar out of the production and manufacturing area – Apapa – to customers, constraining operations in Q3, as it struggled to sustain the improvement made in Q2. Sule said the group has begun explore other means of evacuating products, including the use of railways and establishing more warehouses to meet the growing demand of customers.
“I am pleased that, despite these challenges, we were still able to improve our profit margins and bagged additional market shares from the sugar smugglers and competition as the quarter ended…We are excited as our Sugar for Nigeria project continues to gain momentum and our five-year target to execute the first phase of our backward integration plans – the Savannah rehabilitation and Lau/Tau projects – progresses.”
DSR is the largest sugar refinery in sub-Saharan Africa with over 70 percent of the domestic market share and 12 billion shares outstanding. Besides the importation of raw sugar from Brazil, which is then refined at the production headquarters, the company’s subsidiary, Savannah Sugar, has a sugar production capacity of 50,000 tonnes, and plans to increase capacity to 1 million tonnes per annum.
According to the managing director, the company intends to boost Savannah’s 32,000 hectares in Adamawa State by acquiring and planting a further 150,000 hectares across Nigeria, equipping them with modern manufacturing and production facilities that are located closer to consumers.
As with Dangote’s other brands, DSR plans to expand across the continent, to sell over a million metric tonnes of locally made sugar and become a global force in sugar production. The Dangote group recently emerged as the third most admired brand in Africa.
This Post first appeared on Ventures Africa.