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Business

RHI narrows loss to P496 million

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Listed sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings, Inc. (RHI) continued to narrow its net loss in the six months of the current crop year to P496 million from P574 million in the same period last year.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, RHI said revenue from contracts with customers increased in the six months ended March 31  to P3.31 billion.

RHI chairman Pedro Roxas said  while the group’s revenues were higher, the gains were adversely affected by the contracted milling operations in Central Azucarera Don Pedro (CADPI) resulting in lower tons of canes milled and significantly higher fuel costs for the refinery operations.

The company stressed that CADPI’s milling operations were significantly hampered by the decline in the supply of sugarcanes, particularly in the Batangas area.

In January, the Department of Agriculture- Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operations Center reported that sugarcane damage due to Typhoon Odette totaled P1.15 billion, accounting for 8.6 percent of the total agricultural damage.

“Included in the hardest hit areas were the CALABARZON and Western Visayas regions where the RHI Group operates,”RHI said.

Latest figures from the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) showed that raw sugar production reached 1.63 million metric tons (MT) as of April 17,  down 7.9 percent from the same period last year. This is the fifth consecutive week of decline in production.

The SRA said its final crop estimate for the current crop year, which ends in August, is projected to drop further to 1.982 million MT.

“Despite the challenges faced in the Batangas business particularly in the mill-side, the effect on CADPI’s gross profit was tempered by improved yields and higher refined sugar production coupled with an increase in tolling arrangements,” RHI president and CEO Celso Dimarucut said.

Dimarucut said the gains from this project, in terms of increase in refined sugar production, wouldl become more apparent in subsequent quarters.

“Moreover, the initiatives that were implemented in previous years, such as, manpower right-sizing and rationalization of loans, have resulted in decreases in operating expenses and interest expenses,”he said.

Dimarucut stressed that the company remains focused on implementing solutions to address the various factors causing volatility and higher costs in the industry and the group.

Apart from CADPI, RHI also manages and operates sugarcane farms in Batangas RHI Agri-business Development Corp.

The company is also engaged in ethanol production through San Carlos Bioenergy.

INC.

ROXAS HOLDINGS

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