Sugar manufacturer, starafricaCorporation Limited, has reported a 65 percent increase in sales volumes in the nine months to December 21, 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the period under review, the group’s production returned to normal after the company had a three-week total shut-down in the previous quarter owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which made the sales volumes growth even more impressive.
In a trading report for the third quarter, the company said sales volumes grew despite a 9,4 percent decrease in production, which it attributed to critical power and water outages as well as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Starafrica’s key subsidiary Country Choice Foods made significant gains in product development and market growth as sales increased by 24 percent compared to the same period last year.
Production and sales of new products have started to increase significantly, according to the trading report, with products such as peanut butter, honey and pre-mixes well underway in their development and market testing phases.
Management said despite the easing of lockdown restrictions in the operating market, consumer spending remained significantly constrained due to low disposable incomes.
Said group secretary Aldo Musemburi: “The inflationary pressures have put significant pressures on the company from suppliers and customers alike.
“The rising costs of production mainly as a result of increases in plant maintenance costs have not been transferable to customers as pressures rose on the company to reduce prices in the face of threats of imported sugar.
“In order to stay competitive and in the spirit of mutual beneficiation, the company effected a 15 percent decrease in manufacturer and bottler-grade sugar prices in December 2020 for its customers and, in turn, also negotiated some decreases in supplier costs with some of its main suppliers.”