Südzucker expects 5% more revenues in 2006/07
The Annual General Meeting of Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt adopted the proposal put forward by the Supervisory Board and Executive Board and resolved to distribute a dividend of EUR 0.55 (0.55) per share again. The Executive Board justified this proposal with the company»s traditionally shareholder-friendly dividend policy and the continued positive earnings outlook for the Südzucker Group in the future.
For the current 2006/07 financial year Südzucker expects growth of roughly 5% in Group revenues to EUR 5.6 billion up and an improvement in operating profit. Judged from today»s vantage point there will be a positive swing in restructuring costs and special items from a high negative amount last year, so income from operations will increase significantly. The Sugar segment will already show a slightly better operating profit in the current financial year despite the new European Sugar Market Regulation which came into force on 1 July 2006. The Special Products segment is still burdened by special factors so that, after adjustment for the fruit activities, it will not yet quite match last year»s result. On the other hand, in the Fruit business, which is reported as a separate segment as from the 2006/07 financial year, Südzucker expects a significant improvement in operating profit, especially on the back of revenue growth but also as the result of first benefits from the restructuring and synergies.
In the medium term the Südzucker Group expects sustained growth in operating profit driven by all three segments. In the Sugar segment the market adjustments will strengthen Südzucker Group»s market position. In the Special Products segment the heavy investment in the bioethanol and functional food businesses will feed through in higher earnings while the Fruit segment will continue to grow, with rising margins. Südzucker therefore sees itself excellently positioned to meet the challenges of the future.
The Südzucker Group
With three segments Sugar, Special Products and Fruit, Südzucker is one of the leading companies in the food industry.
In the traditional sugar business the Group is the world market leader, with 42 refineries extending from France in the west, via Belgium, Germany and Austria, through to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Moldavia in the east.
The Special Products segment, consisting of the Bioethanol, Freiberger (pizza), Functional Food (ORAFTI/Palatinit), PortionPack Europe, Starch and Surafti businesses, is an important growth driver.
In the Fruit segment the Group operates worldwide, and is the world market leader for fruit preparations and a leading supplier of fruit juice concentrates in Europe.