Südzucker reports strong first quarter
In the first quarter (March 1 to May 31 2010) of the current financial year 2010/11, Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt was able to increase group revenues by 9 percent to 1.5 billion euro (previous year 1.4). The group's operating profit increased to 149 million euro (previous year 88). The sugar segment is positively influenced mainly by sugar exports to non-EU countries in line with the one-off EU export contingent increase. The special products, CropEnergies and fruit segments showed improving earnings in the first quarter, too.
The executive and supervisory boards will recommend to the annual general meeting on July 20, 2010 that the dividend be increased to 0.45 (prior year: 0.40) euro per share. The total distributed thus rises to 85.2 (prior year: 75.7) million euro. This recommendation reflects the profit recovery and end of the transition phase in the European sugar market on the one hand, while on the other, it takes into consideration Südzucker's goal of further reducing the group's debt. For the financial year 2009/10 just ended, Südzucker was able to cut net debt to 1.1 billion (prior year: 1.6) billion euro.
Südzucker confirms its full-year guidance for financial year 2010/11 with group revenues on prior year's level at 5.7 billion euro and with a group operating profit of about 450 (previous year 403) million euro. This increase is supported by the sugar, CropEnergies and fruit segments. The special products segment is not expected to reach the high level of the previous year.
Group figures as of May 31, 2009
The Südzucker Group
Südzucker, with its sugar, special products, CropEnergies and fruit segments, is one of the leading companies in the food industry. In the traditional sugar business, the group is the world market leader, with 30 sugar factories and three refineries, extending from France in the west via Belgium, Germany and Austria, through to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia and Moldova in the east. The special products segment, consisting of the functional food (BENEO Group), starch, chilled/frozen products (Freiberger) and portion packs businesses, is an important growth driver. The CropEnergies segment covers the bioethanol activities in Germany, Belgium and France. In the fruit segment, the group operates internationally, is the world market leader for fruit preparations and is a leading supplier of fruit juice concentrates in Europe.
In 2009/10, the group employed 17,500 persons and generated revenues of EUR 5.7 billion.