Tongaat Hulett’s market value plunged by a fifth on Friday after the sugar producer said it expects to report a loss for the year to end-March. The group’s share price closed 20.4% down at R37.01, the worst level since November 2004. Thanks to two successive years of disappointing results, the stock has fallen nearly two-thirds over the past 12 months alone. In the year to March 2018, headline earnings fell 37.2% to R617m. Those “appalling” results, which had caught the market off guard, prompted Investec analyst Anthony Geard to call for then-CEO Peter Staude to step down. On Friday, under new management, Tongaat shocked the market once again when it said it would report a headline loss per share for the year to end-March of at least R8.03. It said that with its high debt levels and interest costs, “any reduction in operating profit has a larger impact on earnings”. The company, headed by Gavin Hudson since February 1 2019, has appointed advisers and would enter into discussions wi...

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