Imperial Sugar Company (NASDAQ:IPSU) today reported a net loss for the fiscal fourth quarter ended September 30, 2011 of $32.5 million, or $2.73 per share, compared to a net loss of $2.3 million, or $0.19 per share, for the same period in fiscal 2010. For the year, the Company reported a net loss of $53.4 million, or $4.49 per share, compared to net income of $136.9 million, or $11.33 per share, for fiscal 2010. Fiscal 2010 results include pretax gains resulting from the settlement of insurance claims totaling $278.5 million ($178.9 million or $14.81 per share after tax), while fiscal 2011 results include a tax charge of $18.9 million to establish a valuation allowance for tax loss carry forwards, as well as pre-tax impairment charges related to joint venture investments totaling $7.1 million.
“Imperial’s results continue to be challenged by high raw sugar prices and competitive pricing dynamics,” stated John Sheptor, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar. “Additionally, our progress on increasing production rates and reducing costs at the Port Wentworth refinery has been slower than we expected, adding to the unsatisfactory financial results. Studies completed by an outside refining consultant, as well as by our internal operating and engineering teams, identified potential improvements in processing and equipment reliability issues in the refinery. We are evaluating those findings and as part of our 2012 capital plan, have initiated projects to replace equipment in several key areas of the refinery. We continue to evaluate additional capital projects which may be required to be undertaken later in fiscal 2012 or in fiscal 2013.
Sheptor continued, “our operating results and the impact of high sugar prices on working capital have strained our financial resources and we are exploring opportunities to improve liquidity, including potential further asset sales. We continue to maintain compliance with the terms of our revolving credit agreement and have an open dialog with our lenders. We completed an amendment of our credit agreement in late December, which is designed to provide additional flexibility under the agreement over the next several months.”