JOHANNESBURG, April 26 (Reuters) - Sugar producer Tongaat Hulett said on Thursday full year profits are expected to fall by at least 30 percent on the back of higher than expected sugar imports into its South Africa operations.
Headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended March, 31 are expected to be below 5.97 rand ($0.4823) per share compared with 8.53 rand per share in the year-ago period.
HEPS is the main profit measure used in South Africa that strips out certain one-off items.
“The South African sugar operations experienced higher than anticipated import volumes into the local market as a result of inadequate duty protection that prevailed for a period,” the firm said.
Tongaat said the higher import volumes resulted in locally produced sugar being displaced and exported in the latter part of the year during a period of lower world prices and a stronger currency. ($1 = 12.3772 rand) (Reporting by Patricia Aruo Editing by Alexandra Hudson)