Südzucker's sound performance extends to third quarter
In the first nine months of the current financial year 2010/11 (March 1 to November 30, 2010), Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt's group revenues were up about five percent from previous year, to EUR 4,667 (previous year: 4,438) million. Group operating profit rose about 35 percent over the same period to EUR 416 (previous year: 308) million. Südzucker is forecasting group revenues for the financial year 2010/11 overall to climb to about EUR 6.0 (previous year: 5.7) billion and group operating profit to rise to about EUR 500 (previous year: 403) million.The revenue increase continues to be carried predominantly by the special products and CropEnergies segments. All segments contributed to operating profit growth.
The sugar segment's revenues came in slightly higher than previous year at EUR 2,537 (previous year: 2,507) million. The substantially higher operating profit of EUR 236 (previous year: 174) million was mainly driven by the one-time high exports in the first quarter of non-quota sugar from the 2009 campaign as well as by significantly higher quota sugar volumes.
The special products segment's revenues increased to EUR 1,166 (previous year: 1,051) million. Operating profit came in at EUR 112 (previous year: 106) million. Steady volume growth and rising sales revenues, especially in the starch division, more than offset higher commodity price levels.
The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose to EUR 325 (previous year: 272) million. The growth was driven especially by higher volume due to increased ethanol and by-product production at the Belgian site in Wanze. The higher production output and associated improved capacity loading, together with productivity improvements, enabled the segment to generate sharply higher operating profits: The final total was EUR 32 (previous year: 4) million. Commodity derivatives mitigated substantially higher grain prices during the first nine months of the financial year 2010/11.The fruit segment's revenues climbed to EUR 640 (previous year: 608) million. Higher volumes in the first half year more than offset declining sales revenues during the first nine months. Operating profit came in at EUR 35 (previous year: 25) million, still higher than last year despite the slight decline in third-quarter operating profit.
The cash flow increase of EUR 78 million to EUR 497 (previous year: 419) million is due to the sound growth in Südzucker Group's operating profit. Südzucker was able to cut net financial debt EUR 189 million to EUR 704 (previous year: 893) million as of November 30, 2010.Following the record harvests in 2009, especially in Western Europe, variable and sometimes unfavorable weather conditions had a strong impact on the 2010 growing season; as a result, beet growth did not match the extraordinarily high level of the year prior. The sugar yield throughout the group was about 11.4 (previous year: 12.3) tonnes per hectare, from which about 4.3 (previous year: 4.8) million tonnes of sugar were produced, including refined raw sugar.
The campaign at Südzucker Group's 29 beet sugar factories started in the second half of September 2010 under initially excellent harvest conditions, but was hindered in late November by the early onset of winter throughout Europe. After an average campaign duration of 102 (previous year: 116) days, the campaign is expected to end at the last factories by mid-January 2011.
Summary of group figures as of November 30, 2010
Südzucker AG, Mannheim/Ochsenfurt
Central Public Relations Department
Dr Dominik Risser
Phone: +49 621 421-205
Fax: +49 621 421-425
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 29 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 5.7 billion euro.