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Sugar segment helps Südzucker’s profits soar

By Oliver Nieburg, 19-Jan-2012

Related topics: Ingredients, Commodities, Cocoa & Sugar

Ingredients firm Südzucker has seen a sharp increase in its operating profit for the third quarter (Q3) propelled by gains in its sugar segment.

Operating profit for the third quarter rose a staggering 77.5% to €238m compared to the same period last year, with profit for the sugar arm climbing 64% in the first three quarters to €389m.

The company said in a statement: “Optimal weather conditions held steady in almost all of Südzucker Group's beet fields until the end of the growing season 2011.”

“As a result, not only the average beet yield with 75 tonnes per hectare should be much higher than usual, but the anticipated theoretical sugar yield also should rise to 13.2 tonnes per hectare.”

It added that the expected abundant beet crop meant a number of its sugar factories had moved up their campaign start date to September 2011, making it a longer campaign than the previous year.

Projections

The company said it expects sugar production to increase around 26% to 5.3m tonnes compared to the previous year’s campaign.

It forecasts that the increased sugar production will help take the Group’s revenue for the 2011/12 financial year to €6.8bn

Strong performance in other areas

Though sugar was the stand-out performer, Südzucker also saw improved performance in all of its segments.

Operating profit for the first three quarters was up 5.3% in the firm’s special products segment, driven by higher commodity prices that pushed sales revenues up, particularly in its starch division.

The company’s CropEnergies and fruit segment profits also outshone the previous year due to ethanol sales and high commodity prices respectively.

ED&F Man

Südzucker announced last year plans to acquire a stake of the share capital of the world’s second largest sugar trader ED&F MAN as well as veto rights which would give it sole control.

The European Commission launched an investigation into the acquisition last November over fears it could lead to high combined market shares for the supply of refined sugar in Central Europe and push prices up for consumers.

Last month, The Commission extended its investigation deadline originally intended for 9 November 2011. The Commission will now report back on 23 March 2012.