ROXAS Holdings Inc. (RHI) trimmed its losses attributable to equity holders to P92.75 million during the second quarter of its fiscal year ending March in part after the company reduced some of its expenses.

The net loss in the three-month period, which was lower by 44% compared with the previous year’s, was due to lower sugar production and weather disturbances.

Including non-controlling interests, the company’s net loss was at P96.15 million, wider by 42.3% than the level in the same period last year, its financial report submitted to the stock exchange on Wednesday showed.

The company attributed the net loss due to “unfavourable weather conditions, the eruption of Taal Volcano, and increased cane competition in the Batangas area.”

RHI’s revenues for the second quarter fell by 8.03% to P2.52 billion.

In the first half of its fiscal year, RHI recorded a net loss of P92.43 million, 74.6% lower than the P364.12 million loss in the same period in 2019.

RHI President and Chief Executive Officer Hubert D. Tubio said that the company was crafting a roadmap for interventions that would increase its annual output of sugar.

Mr. Tubio added that profit from RHI’s bioethanol segment fell as feedstock costs increased during the first half of the crop year.

“The high price of molasses affected the ethanol segment’s operations, resulting in lower production volume,” he said in a statement.

RHI Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer Celso T. Dimarucut said that the company’s focus is on its efforts to “de-risk” the business.

“Despite the many challenges we face, especially with the onslaught of COVID19, RHI has continued to manage its cash flow to ensure continuous manufacturing operations and is exploring all opportunities to reduce debt,” Mr. Dimarucut said.

On the other hand, the company’s ethanol group is exploring the commercial production of ethyl alcohol to assist in the country’s battle against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Described as the largest integrated sugar and ethanol producer in the country, RHI manages sugar miller Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc.; Central Azucarera de la Carlota, Inc.; ethanol producers Roxol Bioenergy Corp. and San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc.; and RHI Agri-business Development Corp.

On Wednesday, shares in RHI fell by 0.78% or P0.01 to close at P1.28 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave