Illovo Sugar, the African business majority-owned by Associated British Foods, has reported an 8% rise in annual profits amid rising sugar prices.

The company booked operating profit of ZAR1.1bn (US$143.7m) for the 12 months to the end of March. Revenue climbed to ZAR6.8bn, up from ZAR6.3bn a year earlier.

Illovo said increased domestic sugar sales and a rise in exports to the EU had boosted the results.

Looking ahead, Illovo said that the outlook for global sugar prices remains uncertain and that the value of the South African rand would affect its results.

World sugar prices are presently above last year’s levels but remain very volatile. If they remain at current levels it will impact favourably on revenues from both world and regional markets,” Illovo said.

“The results for the current year will again be affected by the level of the rand compared to other currencies. Overall, it is anticipated that growth in earnings will be achieved in the year ahead.”