Imperial Sugar suffers third quarter loss

by Keith Nunes
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SUGAR LAND, TEXAS – The Imperial Sugar Company’s third quarter results were negatively impacted by reduced sales volumes and costs associated with the explosion in late February 2008 that destroyed much of the firm’s refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga. For the quarter ended June 30, Imperial Sugar recorded a loss of $10,481,000. During the same period of fiscal 2008 the company experienced a loss of $12,516,000.

Sales during the quarter were $142,291,000, a 33% increase over sales during the third quarter of fiscal 2008.

"Our Port Wentworth rebuild progress has been truly remarkable and all of our employees and contractors are to be commended for their hard work," said John Sheptor, president and chief executive officer of Imperial Sugar. "During the quarter, we completed the concrete pour of the sugar silos, and work began on the interior structures. The new packaging building is now virtually complete structurally, and we are installing material handling and packaging equipment. In June we resumed limited shipments of liquid bulk sugar, and in late July we began shipping bulk granulated sugar to our industrial customers."

For the first nine months of fiscal 2009 Imperial Sugar experienced a loss of $22,995,000. During the first nine months of fiscal 2008 the company recorded a loss of $15,784,000.

"Current U.S.D.A. projections call for a continuation of tight refined sugar supplies for the upcoming year," Mr. Sheptor said. "Wholesome Sweeteners is also well positioned to capture future growth in the natural and organic sweetener business, and CSI Mexico continues to perform favorably with improved year-to-date earnings. All of these factors should help contribute to improved overall financial results in the coming months."

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