Bloomberg News

Mauritius’s Harel Freres Predicts Improved Results as Losses End

November 09, 2011

Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Harel Freres Ltd., the Mauritius sugar producer and diversified group, said results this year likely will improve after its units halted losses.

“We are expecting a good year, better than the previous one, which is exceptional right now in the country,” Managing Director Cyril Mayer said in an interview today in Port Louis, the capital. “There is no company making losses in the group today.”

The first-half loss fell to 73.9 million rupees ($2.56 million) from 118.9 million rupees a year earlier, according to statements on Harel’s website. Revenue rose 15 percent to 1.4 billion rupees, while assets were little changed at 10 billion rupees.

Harel Freres plans to change its name to Terra Mauricia Ltd. subject to shareholder approval on Nov. 23, Mayer told reporters today. The group wants a brand that reflects that it is a diversified business, with telecommunications and financial services, instead of just a sugar company, he said.

Harel plans to further expand in financial services and tourism among other industries, he added.

“We have no debt,” Mayere said. “We have a substantial borrowing capacity.”

Sucrivoire, an Ivory Coast sugar producer in which Harel owns 25.5 percent may produce as much as 85 000 metric tons of the sweetener for the domestic market this year, he said.

The shares, which have a 5 percent weighting in the 38- member SEMDEX index, declined for a second consecutive day, retreating 0.3 percent or 0.1 rupee to 38 rupees by 1:20 p.m. in Port Louis.

--Editors: James Kraus, Hilton Shone

-0- Nov/09/2011 10:14 GMT

-0- Nov/09/2011 10:22 GMT

To contact the reporter on this story: Kamlesh Bhuckory in Port Louis via Johannesburg at gbell16@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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