Imperial Sugar Company (NASDAQ:IPSU) today reported a net loss of $6.5 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, for the second fiscal quarter ended March 31, 2012, compared to net income of $4.2 million, or $0.34 per diluted share, for the second fiscal quarter of 2011. The prior year’s second quarter results include a $3.6 million pretax gain related to the contribution of the Gramercy, Louisiana refinery to Louisiana Sugar Refining, LLC.
Net sales for the second fiscal quarter were $203.0 million, compared to $192.2 million for the same period last year. The increase in quarterly sales was principally due to a 10.5% increase in domestic sugar prices, which more than offset a 2.4% decrease in domestic sales volumes.
For the three months ended March 31, 2012, gross margin as a percent of sales was 1.1% compared to 5.4% in the prior year quarter. Raw sugar unit costs, before the impact of LIFO liquidations, increased 8% in the current quarter when compared to the same period of the prior year. Raw sugar costs during the prior year’s second quarter benefited from the liquidation of LIFO basis inventory at a cost which was $14.3 million lower than then-current raw sugar costs. Higher manufacturing costs in the current quarter also contributed to the lower gross margin.
The Company sold its 50% voting interest in Wholesome Sweeteners, Incorporated in April 2012 for net proceeds of $60.4 million, subject to adjustment based on Wholesome’s closing date working capital. Capital expenditures for the six months ended March 31, 2012 totaled $7.4 million. As of May 8, 2012, undrawn borrowing capacity under the Company’s revolving credit agreement was $36.4 million, after deducting $44.3 million of outstanding borrowings and $7.5 million of letters of credit.Six Months Ended March 31, 2012 For the six-month period ended March 31, 2012, the Company reported a net loss of $10.0 million, or $0.83 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $4.8 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, for the same period last year.