November 9, 2018 / 3:00 PM / 13 days ago

South African's Tongaat swings to HY loss, shares dive

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 9 (Reuters) - South Africa’s Tongaat said on Friday it had swung into a half-year loss due to poor market conditions in its South African and Mozambique sugar operations, sending its shares nearly 12 percent lower.

The firm reported diluted headline loss per share of 74.1 cents for the six months ended Sept. 30 compared with headline earnings of 573.8 cents per share a year earlier.

It said poor market conditions in South Africa and Mozabique had hurt both revenue and cane valuations.

Headline earnings per share the main profit measure used in South Africa which strips out certain once-off items.

The firm’s shares traded 7.41 percent at 60.44 rand after falling 11.8 percent earlier.

“The results are worse than expected,” said Cratos Wealth portfolio manager Ron Klipin.

“The sugar market hasn’t been easy as sugar prices are under pressure, there’s an oversupply of sugar... Also the impairments of assets such their properties could’ve been a major factor,” said Klipin. (Reporting by Nomvelo Chalumbira Editing by James Macharia)

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