Südzucker, Europe's largest sugar producer, confirmed lower first-quarter earnings on the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, but expects profits will rise in its full financial year.
Südzucker reaffirmed that group operating profit dropped to €49 million ($57.79 million) in the first quarter ending 31 May in its 2021/22 year, down from €61 million last year.
The result was burdened by its key sugar sector. Higher sugar sales revenues were offset by increased sugar production costs and lower retail sales volumes, it said
Turnover rose to €1.75 billion from €1.66 billion last year. The company had made a limited advanced announcement of earnings on 16 June.
Group EBITDA amounted to €121 million, €13 million lower than the same period last year (previous year: €134 million).
Südzucker affirmed that it still expects full-year group operating profits of €300 million to €400 million, up from €236 million the previous year.
Revenues in the sugar unit increased moderately to €595 million, from €565 million last year.
In the CropEnergies segment, revenues increased significantly to €195 million, from €162 million in the first quarter of the previous year.
The company’s fruit division reported a moderate revenue growth to €321 million from €304 million last year.
The total beet cultivation area for the 2021 campaign increased to 353,600 ha, up almost 3.1% compared to the previous year.
Südzucker added that the main planting campaign kicked off at the end of March, with initially good seeding conditions.
However, late frosts and generally cool temperatures in April and May delayed beet development.