Südzucker has reported group revenues of €3.6 billion in the first half of its financial year 2021/2022, up by around €250 million and ahead of the previous years' figure of €3.4 billion.
In this period, revenue in the company's fruit segment saw a moderate growth, while the special products segment reported a slight decline. Elsewhere, the sugar, CropEnergies and starch segments reported significantly higher revenues.
Group EBITDA was comparable to last year at €278 million (previous year: €276 million).
The group’s consolidated operating result edged up moderately to €134 million for the reporting period due to a significant jump in the second quarter,
This growth was primarily due to the sugar segment’s significantly higher second quarter numbers, which enabled it to generate again a positive operating result, Südzucker added.
In contrast, the special products, CropEnergies and starch segments’ operating result fell significantly, while the fruit segment saw a moderate decline.
Sugar segment’s revenues increased to €1,2 billion, driven mainly by higher sugar sales revenues since the beginning of the new 2020/21 sugar marketing year and by higher sales volumes since the second quarter of 2021/22.
The first quarter of the 2020/21 financial year initially benefited from the positive effects of hoarding in retail at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the company noted.
In the course of the previous fiscal year, these benefits were clearly over-shadowed by weaker demand from the sugar processing industry.
While the operating loss in the first quarter of fiscal 2021/22 was still significantly higher than in the previous year, the sugar segment was able to return to positive results in the second quarter.
The cumulative operating result also improved to €-18 million, from €-58 in the same period in the previous year.
Higher sugar sales revenues continued to be offset in particular by raw material price-related higher production costs from the 2020 campaign, but also by increased costs for packaging materials, the company added.
The increase in sales volumes has also had a positive effect since the second quarter.
Beet yields were above average as there was adequate rainfall in almost all cultivation regions, sometimes even too much, after many cultivation years characterised primarily by drought.
However, the company expects sugar content be low due to lack of adequate sunshine during the summer months.
Overall, the Südzucker's sugar yield is projected to be above average, with sugar production from beets at 4.2 million tonnes – significantly higher than 3.5 million tonnes last year.
The special products segment's revenues amounted to €856 million, only slightly below the previous year's level.
Overall, volumes in the second quarter were higher than a year earlier, reducing the shortfall somewhat after the first half of the year.
The operating result decreased to €64 million, from €80 million the previous year, impacted by an overall decline in sales volumes and higher costs for raw materials, energy and packaging materials.
The CropEnergies segment saw revenues rise to €427 million, from €373 million in the same period last year, driven by higher volumes and sales revenues.
The previous year's first-quarter volumes were impacted significantly by an extended maintenance outage at the Wanze site, which was caused by the pandemic, the company added.
Starch And Fruit Segment
The starch segment saw revenues increase to €449 million, up from previous year's level of €389 million, driven by encouraging volume trend as a result of the increasing utilisation of the installed capacity expansions and higher ethanol prices.
At €22 million, the operating result remained well below the previous year's level of €25 million, despite an improvement in the second quarter.
Revenue in the fruit segment increased to €633 million, from €602 million in the previous year, while the operating result was down to €28 million from €31 million.
Südzucker Group expects consolidated group revenues in the range of €7.1 to €7.3 billion, up from its previous forecast of €7.0 to €7.2 billion.
The company added that economic impact of the virus is expected to wane over time, but there will continue to be coronavirus pandemic-related risks over the further course of fiscal 2021/22.