Südzucker continues positive development in first half year
Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, Mannheim, raised group revenues within the first half year (1 March 2012 to 31 August 2012) of current financial year 2012/13 from EUR 3,338 million to EUR 3,917 million. All segments contributed to this growth. Group operating profit increased to EUR 562 million from EUR 347 million. This earnings improvement is mainly driven by the sugar segment. The CropEnergies and special product segments' numbers were higher than the prior year`s results but the fruit segment was unable to build on the prior year's result.
For financial year 2012/13 (1 March 2012 to 28 February 2013) Südzucker projects an increase of group revenues above EUR 7.5 (previous year: 7.0) billion, supported by all segments. Group operating profit is expected to grow above EUR 900 (previous year: 751) million, most of which will come from the sugar segment. The special products segment is expected to repeat last year's strong results and the CropEnergies segment will report sharply higher results. The fruit segment's operating profit is expected to improve.
Sugar segment continues positive development of sales revenues
The sugar segment's revenues rose about 23 percent to EUR 2,117 (previous year: 1,728) million in the first half of fiscal 2012/13. The significant revenue increase was driven especially by higher sugar sales revenues resulting from higher world market prices. The sugar segment's operating profit soared to EUR 417 (previous year: 220) million, mainly because of higher sugar sales revenues, but clearly higher commodity costs. While last year only the price level in Eastern Europe tracked world market prices on account of the terms of various contracts, in fall 2011 revenues in Western Europe catched up.
Special products segment exceeds expectations
The special product segment's growth exceeded expectations after an extraordinary strong previous year. Revenues rose to EUR 927 (previous year: 896) million on account of higher sales revenues. The increase in operating profit to EUR 83 (previous year: 67) million was driven by the development in the starch division. Together, the BENEO, Freiberger and PortionPack divisions also continued to contribute to the higher profits. Higher commodity costs were partly offset by higher sales revenues driven by a favorable currency exchange rate.
CropEnergies segment continues to grow dynamically
The momentum of the CropEnergies segment's growth continued during the first half of fiscal 2012/13. Revenues rose around 19 percent to EUR 300 (previous year: 253) million, primarily due to higher bioethanol volumes, and now also higher sales revenues. The CropEnergies segment's operating profit in the second quarter was up sharply, coming in at EUR 37 (previous year: 29) million for the first half of the fiscal year, about 28 percent higher than the year prior. The negative impact of higher commodity prices was more than offset by higher sales revenues from food and feed, improved capacity utilization and the associated volume growth and now also higher ethanol sales revenues.
Fruit segment continues positive trend in second quarter
The fruit segment's revenues rose about 24 percent to EUR 573 (previous year: 461) million. Both volume and sales revenues were higher than the year prior. The joint venture company YBBSTALER AGRANA JUICE GmbH has been fully consolidated since the second quarter. On the heels of the negative developments in prior quarters, the fruit segment was able to extend the growth in operating profit that started in the first quarter into the second quarter and thus has started to approach the prior year's results. Operating profit for the first half year came in at EUR 25 (previous year: 31) million. But volume growth and higher sales revenues, as well as the profit contribution from the joint venture, were not enough to fully offset significantly higher costs.