Imperial Sugar narrows loss in first quarter

by Staff
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SUGAR LAND, TEXAS — Price increases helped Imperial Sugar Co. narrow its loss during the first quarter, but high raw sugar prices and competitive pricing contributed to the loss.

For the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011, the company suffered a loss of $3,457,000, which compared with a loss of $8,915,000 during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $227,676,000, up slightly from $227,389,000 during the same quarter of the previous year.

“Imperial’s results continue to be affected by margin compression experienced in the second half of the fiscal year, driven by high raw sugar prices and competitive pricing dynamics, although we were able to increase prices during the quarter sufficient to improve margins on a consecutive quarter basis.,” said John Sheptor, president and chief executive officer. “Production rates at the Port Wentworth (Ga.) refinery in the first quarter were largely unchanged and costs remained high. We continue to focus on operating reliability and efficiency to improve results.

“We have maintained compliance with the terms of our revolving credit agreement and are exploring opportunities to improve liquidity. We are in the late stages of exploration with our partner the potential sale of our interest in Wholesome Sweeteners to a third party.”

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