FSC to slash debt to $285million

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Fiji Sugar Corporation Board Chair Pradeep Lal (left) chats with board member Nitya Reddy after the Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) Annual General Meeting held at Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is expecting to reduce its debt from $485.9 million to $285 million.

FSC chairman Pradeep Lal said this was the result of the corporation’s revival efforts.

Mr Lal explained the revival efforts were guided by five pillars of transformation, which included a detailed balance sheet restructure.

“A comprehensive balance sheet restructure initiative was undertaken, showcasing commitment to achieving financial stability and flexibility,” said Mr Lal.

“One such initiative was the conversion of government debt amounting to $200.2m into equity, a measure duly endorsed by Parliament in March 2020.

“Consequently, FSC’s overall debt burden will reduce substantially from $485.9m as at May 31, 2023, to $285m.”

He said it was imperative to emphasise that these financial obligations primarily constituted legacy debts and their successful reduction marked a pivotal step towards bolstering the corporation’s financial viability.

“Complementing these debt management efforts, FSC has also taken a comprehensive inventory of its properties and facilities, carefully divesting underperforming assets to alleviate the loan obligations further.

“These strategic financial moves highlight FSC’s dedication to prudent fiscal management and responsibility.”

Mr Lal added over the past five years, FSC had spent more than $70m towards the upkeep of its ageing mills.

“This commitment to excellence extends to targeted investments in the sugar mills to enhance reliability and optimise throughput.

“FSC is dedicated to achieving efficient milling operations, focusing on reducing breakdowns, increasing sugar recovery rates, implementing industry leading good manufacturing and hygiene practices and elevating sugar quality to the highest standards.”

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