Südzucker, Europe's largest sugar producer, has said that its second-quarter operating profits and sales rose strongly as its core sugar business improved its performance.
In an advance earnings release, Südzucker reported a 25% increase in group operating profits for the three months to the end of August to about €85 million ($100 million). Sales rose 10% to €1.84 billion.
The sugar business posted quarterly operating profits of about €7 million against a loss of €42 million in the same period last year.
Südzucker had said in July it hoped its results would improve on expectations the economic impact of the pandemic would subside.
'Improvement In The Sugar Sector'
"We have achieved an improvement in the sugar sector partly because of our cost cutting and improved sugar prices,” a Südzucker spokesman told Reuters.
“We said at the beginning of the current financial year that we hoped to achieve operating profits in our sugar sector of between zero to 100 million euros and this remains our expectation.”
“The overall sugar market outlook is still uncertain because of the pandemic. But we are hoping that more progress will be made in combating the pandemic in coming months.”
Sugar futures hit their highest in over four years in August on fears of a reduced crop in Brazil.
The company repeated its forecast for group operating profits in its 2021/22 fiscal year of between €300 and €400 million against €236 million in the previous year.
'Despite expected decreasing effects from the corona pandemic, there are still risks linked to the pandemic in business year 2021/22,' it said. 'The respective economic and financial impact and duration is still difficult to assess.'
Südzucker's full quarterly results will be released on 14 October.
The company's group operating profit dropped to €49 million ($57.79 million) in the first quarter ended 31 May in its 2021/22 year, down from €61 million last year.