Südzucker operating profit improves in third quarter 2011/12
Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, Mannheim, raised group revenues within the first nine months (1 March 2011 to 30 November 2011) of current financial year 2011/12 by around 12 percent from EUR 4,667 million to EUR 5,244 million. All segments reported higher revenues than the year prior in the third quarter. Group operating profit increased in the first three quarters by around EUR 170 million or 41 percent to EUR 586 (previous year: 416) million. The sugar segment's sharply higher operating profit trend extended into the third quarter. The special products segment also reported profit growth.
For financial year 2011/12 Südzucker still projects an increase of group revenues to around EUR 6.8 (previous year: 6.2) billion and an increase of group operating profit to around EUR 750 (previous year: 519) million.
The sugar segment's revenues rose to EUR 2,811 (previous year: 2,536) million during the period under review. The increase was driven mainly by higher sugar sales revenues. Also the sugar segment's operating profit thus climbed to EUR 389 (previous year: 237) million. Because the EU is a net importer, higher world market prices are impacting the European market price level.
The optimal weather conditions held steady in almost all of Südzucker Group's beet fields until the end of the growing season 2011. As a result, not only the average beet yield with 75 tonnes per hectare should be much higher than usual, but the anticipated theoretical sugar yield also should rose to 13.2 (previous year: 11.3) tonnes per hectare. Due to the expected abundant beet crop, a number of sugar factories moved up their campaign start date to the first week of September 2011. With an expected campaign end date of mid-January, in Poland of beginning of February, 2012, Südzucker is projecting that the campaign will last on average about 120 (previous year: 103) days. Südzucker is expecting sugar production, including raw sugar refining, to jump about 26 percent to 5.3 (previous year: 4.2) million tonnes.
The special products segment was able to boost revenues for the first three quarters to EUR 1,369 (previous year: 1,166) million. High commodity prices drove sales revenues up, which was the main reason for the higher overall revenues, especially in the starch division. The special products segment's operating profit was higher than the year prior for the first nine months, coming in at EUR 118 (previous year: 112) million. The substantial profit increase in the third quarter is due to the very satisfactory growth of the starch division.
The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose sharply to EUR 391 (previous year: 325) million during the period under review. This was due to higher ethanol sales revenues, but also higher byproduct volume and sales revenues. The operating profit was up substantially, to EUR 43 (previous year: 32) million.
The fruit segment's revenues rose to EUR 673 (previous year: 640) million during the period under review. The growth was driven primarily by higher sales revenues, which were up as a result of higher commodity prices. However, volumes were lower than the high prior year's levels. The operating profit came in at EUR 36 (previous year: 35) million, roughly the same as last year.
Summary of group figures as of November 30, 2011