Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, the country’s biggest miller by market value, said it will begin commercial sugar refining this month to boost revenue.
“Construction work on the 750,000 metric ton capacity plant is completed and a test run done in December,” Chief Financial Officer Jacques Vauthier told a conference call in Lagos, the commercial capital.
Nigeria plans to end imports of packaged sugar from this year to boost local investment and become a self sufficient producer of the sweetener, Lateef Busari, executive secretary of the National Sugar Development Council, said Dec. 20. Imports of raw sugar for refining will be approved by President Goodluck Jonathan only on recommendations from the Trade and Investment Minister, Busari said.
Flour Mills wants to buy a sugar plantation to reduce the cost of providing raw materials for its plant, Vauthier said. “The company’s working capital has risen as a result of buying in stock of raw sugar ahead of the refinery start up.”
Flour Mills net income advanced less than one percent to 8.2 billion naira ($52 million) for the nine months through December, it said in a Jan. 31 statement. Revenue rose 1.6 percent to 205.5 billion naira.
The stock was unchanged at 80 naira in Lagos at market close today. It has risen 23 percent this year, compared with a 19 percent rise in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index.