Due to limited transactions, listed sugar and ethanol producer Roxas Holdings, Inc. (RHI) posted an attributable net loss of P239.1 million for the first quarter of its fiscal year that ended on Dec. 31 last year.

In a regulatory filing on Friday, the company said its net loss for the first quarter expanded from the P33.89-million losses a year earlier after taking into consideration P247 million in non-recurring gain from an investment sale.

In the first quarter, its consolidated revenues amounted to P352 million, 83.9% lower than the P2.18 billion posted in 2019 due to the sale of its sugar mill and ethanol plant in Negros Occidental.

RHI Chairman Pedro E. Roxas said the company’s remaining business units during the quarter incurred operating losses because there were few transactions for the period, adding that the business is seasonal in nature.

“We started the distillery operations of our San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. in October 2020, while milling in Central Azucarera Don Pedro, Inc. began in mid-December 2020, after completing the off-season repairs and maintenance activities of these plants. This is the inherent seasonality in the Group’s operations which coincides with the availability of sugarcanes,” Mr. Roxas was quoted as saying.

For RHI President and Chief Executive Officer Celso T. Dimarucut, the company remains positive that the operations of its remaining businesses will fare better amid the challenges faced by the industry.

He said one of these challenges is the higher-than-usual precipitation projected for 2021 due to the La Niña phenomenon.

“Total ethanol production for the first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2020 of 5.656 million liters was 75% higher than the 3.256 million liters produced during the same period last year,” Mr. Dimarucut was quoted as saying.

“The group expects to complete next quarter the arrangements with major creditor banks to term out existing short-term loans,” he added.

On Friday, RHI shares at the stock exchange rose 0.63% or one centavo to end at P1.61 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave