Group profile

Group profile

Illovo is a leading sugar producer and a significant manufacturer of downstream productS. the group is africa’s biggest sugar producer and has extensive agricultural and manufacTuring operations in six countries.

The group produces raw and refined sugar primarily for local, regional African markets and exports to the European Union (EU), United States of America (USA) and other world markets. Sugar cane is supplied to Illovo’s factories by our own agricultural operations and by independent outgrowers. High-value products manufactured downstream of the sugar production process are sold internationally into niche markets. Installed electricity generating capacity, fuelled by renewable resources, provides 89% of the group’s energy requirements. Illovo is listed on the JSE Limited and is a subsidiary of Associated British Foods plc which holds 51.3% of the issued share capital.

The group’s countries of operation provide good climatic and soil conditions which, accompanied by irrigation from secure and sustainable water sources, are ideal for the cultivation of high-yielding and high-quality sugar cane, with 6.265 million tons of sugar cane having been harvested by our own operations in the 2014/15 season. Combined with 8.792 million tons of cane supplied by independent outgrowers in all six of the countries in which we operate, the group produced 1.760 million tons of sugar in 2014/15. Illovo has installed capacity to produce more than two million tons of sugar annually.

The group is a major supplier of sugar to the consumer and industrial markets in its own countries of operation and to neighbouring regional African markets, using an extensive network of distribution and logistics channels. In Zambia, Illovo’s majority-owned Zambia Sugar plc announced a major project to increase annual sugar production to around 450 000 tons and to construct a new refinery to cater for the growing requirements of industrial customers. The new plant is expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2016. The group also exports sugar to the EU and USA and, through the South African sugar industry, sells sugar onto the world market. Syrup and speciality sugars are produced in South Africa and Zambia mainly for domestic consumption, while speciality sugars made in Malawi and Zambia are produced for preferential markets in the EU and in the case of Malawi, also for the USA.

The majority of our downstream production is sold internationally into high-value, niche markets. Furfural and its derivatives are produced at the Sezela mill complex on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal while high-quality ethyl alcohol is produced at the Glendale distillery on the north coast, at our Merebank plant in South Africa and at Kilombero in Tanzania. The Merebank plant also manufactures lactulose. Through our own internal electricity generating capability, using bio-renewable boiler-feedstock such as bagasse and biomass, Illovo aims to ensure reliable, cost-effective energy supply to all of its own operations, and where economically attractive, to export power into the national grids of the countries in which we operate.

As a major private investor in Africa, Illovo operates and markets its products in countries which face considerable challenges in the form of poverty, unemployment, inequality and disease. The United Nations (UN) classifies Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania as among the world’s least developed countries. The group has a significant positive impact on the rural communities in the areas in which we operate, inter alia, by creating valuable jobs and economic opportunities, and providing accommodation, health care, educational assistance and basic services to employees. In addition, where no such facilities exist, the group provides medical care to communities, assists in education delivery, provides municipal and civic services and access to water and sanitation, and participates in community outreach programmes. Considerable training and other support is provided to local small and medium-scale growers in order to promote sustainable agriculture and economic development activities. The total cane supplied from these growers and community-based co-operative schemes during the past year amounted to 3.7 million tons generating revenue of R1.3 billion in 2014/15.


Date: Wed, 15 July

Time: 14:00

Venue: Illovo Sugar Park

Notice of AGM


Contact Us

Illovo Sugar Park, 1 Montgomery Drive, Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal

Tel: +27 31 508 4300