Südzucker off to a good start in current financial year 2011/12
Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, Mannheim, raised group revenues within the first three months
(1 March 2011 to 31 May 2011) of current financial year 2011/12 by around 7 percent from EUR 1,533 million to EUR 1,639 million. Group operating profit increased by around EUR 35 million or 24 percent over the same period to EUR 184 (prior year: 149) million. The sugar, CropEnergies and fruit segments contributed to this earnings improvement.
The sugar segment's revenues of EUR 828 (prior year: 844) million was less than the previous year. The prior year's first quarter was marked by unusually high exports. The sugar segment was able to improve operating profit to EUR 111 (prior year: 94) million despite the much lower export volumes. The main reason is higher sugar sales revenues, particularly in the Eastern European markets.The special products segment's revenues rose to EUR 450 (prior year: 377) million. The main reason for the higher revenues was the overall excellent volume growth and especially the higher sales revenues driven by high commodity prices, especially in the starch division.
The special products segment's first quarter operating profit of EUR 40 (prior year: 40) million was comparable to last year. Not all divisions have been able to completely pass the steadily rising commodity prices on to the market.The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose to EUR 124 (prior year: 88) million during the period under review. This was due to both higher volumes and higher ethanol and byproduct sales revenues. The Crop-Energies segment was able to substantially boost operating profit to EUR 15 (prior year: 2) million. Compared to the prior year's first quarter, when extensive maintenance and optimization work was carried out at both the Wanze and Zeitz factory, productivity and loading improved dramatically in current financial year.
The fruit segment's revenues rose to EUR 237 (prior year: 224) million. This growth was primarily driven by higher sales revenues, which tracked the higher commodity prices. The volume level did not match that of last year. The segment's operating profit was EUR 18 (prior year: 13) million, sharply higher than the prior year's result.The executive and supervisory boards will recommend to the annual general meeting on July 21, 2011 that the dividend be increased to EUR 0.55 (prior year: 0.45) per share. The recommendation reflects the significantly higher profits. Based on the 189.4 million bearer shares in circulation, the total dividend distribution will be EUR 104.1 (prior year: 85.2) million.
For total financial year 2011/12 Südzucker expects an increase of group revenues to around EUR 6.5 (prior year: 6.2) billion and a group operating profit of more than EUR 600 (prior year: 519) million. The boost in earnings will be driven by the CropEnergies and fruit segments, but predominantly by the sugar segment.