Südzucker confirms full-year guidance after a good start

Mannheim, 25.06.2009

Overview of key data relating to business performance of Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, Mannheim, in the first three months of the current fiscal year 2009/10. The complete report of the first quarter (1 March 2009 until 31 May 2009) will be published on 15 July 2009.

In the first three months of fiscal year 2009/10 group revenues reached almost prior year's level at 1.41 (previous year 1.47) billion euro. A decrease in revenues in the sugar segment - against the background of quota renouncements - faced a considerable revenue increase in the CropEnergies segment and nearly unchanged revenues in the special products and fruit segments.The operating profit increased by 39 percent to 88 (previous year 63) million euro. The sugar and special products segments contributed disproportionally high, whereas the CropEnergies segment reported an expected operating loss due to the ramp-up of the Wanze plant in Belgium.

Consolidated net earnings amounted to 65 (previous year 122) million euro, earnings per share amounted to at 0.25 (previous year 0.57) euro. In the previous year consolidated net earnings and earnings per share respectively included a one-off effect of 91 million euro after tax, or 0.48 euro per share, which resulted from income from the EU restructuring aid in light of the so-called second wave quota renouncement, less expenses for factory closures.

The cash flow reached 115 (previous year 175) million euro in the first quarter. Here as well, the one-off effect from the quota renouncement in the amount of 91 million euro contributed to the higher previous year's level. Total investments were reduced by 39 percent to 40 (previous year 66) million euro. The seasonal increase in net financial debt - with reference to fiscal year end - decreased by 186 million euro in the current fiscal year compared to 28 February 2009; hence net financial debt declined to 1.86 (previous year 1.92) billion euro. With the payout of the EU restructuring aid of 446 million euro in June 2009, net financial debt will further drop considerably.

Südzucker confirms the outlook for fiscal year 2009/10 and expects group revenues on prior year's level of 5.9 billion euro and an operating profit of round 400 (previous year 258) million euro.

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