Südzucker profit up sharply in first half of financial year

Mannheim, 13.10.2011

Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, Mannheim, raised group revenues within the first half year (1 March 2011 to 31 August 2011) of current financial year 2011/12 by around 9 percent from EUR 3,068 million to EUR 3,338 million. Group operating profit increased by around EUR 65 million or 23 percent to EUR 347 (previous year: 282) million. The sugar, CropEnergies and fruit segments contributed to this earnings improvement.

For total financial year 2011/12 Südzucker still expects an increase of group revenues to around EUR 6.5 (previous year: 6.2) billion and a group operating profit of more than EUR 600 (previous year: 519) million. The boost in earnings will be driven predominantly by the sugar segment.

The sugar segment's revenues rose to EUR 1,728 (1,671) million in the first half of financial year 2011/12, and operating profit climbed to EUR 220 (previous year: 166) million. The drivers were higher sugar sales revenues, especially in the Eastern European markets, and higher sales revenues from non-quota sugar. Since the EU is now a net importer, the substantial increase in the world market price has impacted the market price level within the EU.

Although the special product segment's revenues rose to EUR 896 (previous year: 762) million, operating profit during the same period fell to EUR 67 (previous year: 77) million. This was mainly due to further commodity price increases, which began to have an impact in the second quarter. As expected, not all divisions have as yet been able to fully pass the increases on to the market.

The CropEnergies segment's revenues climbed to EUR 253 (previous year: 200) million. Operating profit rose to previous year: 29 (previous year: 17) million. Significantly higher commodity costs were offset here by higher ethanol and byproduct sales revenues.

The fruit segment's revenues grew to previous year: 461 (previous year: 435) million. The growth was driven primarily by higher sales revenues, which were up as a result of higher commodity prices. Operating profit in the first six months was EUR 31 (previous year: 22) million, up sharply year-over-year and driven mainly by improved margins for fruit juice concentrates.

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