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Wilmar drives growth through Chelsea maker NZ Sugar Co, with dividends, raw material sales

Friday 1st June 2018

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Wilmar International is extracting a return from its investment in New Zealand's sugar industry, selling more raw materials to its local unit and taking $11 million in dividends last year.

NZ Sugar, which is 75 percent owned by Wilmar and 25 percent by Queensland-based MacKay Sugar, paid $15 million of dividends last year, up from a year-earlier $9 million, its accounts on the Companies Office show. But the New Zealand business, which uses the Chelsea sugar brand and operates from the historic Auckland waterfront site, also purchased $122 million of goods from related party Wilmar Sugar, up from $114 million a year earlier.

Wilmar entered the sugar trade when it acquired Australian sugar refiner Sucrogen in 2010 which included the Chelsea refinery. Since then it has acquired sugar interests in Indonesia, Africa, India and Myanmar.

The 2017 accounts show that while NZ Sugar increased purchases from Wilmar Sugar it also added to its inventory of raw materials in dollar terms. It held $19.4 million of raw materials up from $14.8 million a year earlier. Total inventory rose to $32.2 million from $28.5 million.

NZ Sugar lifted sales to $231 million in 2017, from $222 million in 2016, a 4 percent gain. Profit rose to $20.8 million from $19 million.

(BusinessDesk)

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