German sugar refiner Nordzucker closed its 2020/21 financial year with a 16% year-on-year increase in sales, to €1.7 billion.
Operating profit amounted to €81.0 million, driven by the realignment of its sales strategy, the significant streamlining of the organisation, and comprehensive permanent cost reductions.
The company reported a net profit of €66 million in FY 2020/21, following a loss of €14.6 million in the previous financial year.
'An Attractive Partner'
Nordzucker CFO, Alexander Bott, said, "We must continue to work consistently on our cost structure and the optimisation of our processes with our customers in mind in order to remain competitive.
"The aim is to be an attractive partner for our beet growers in Europe and to secure dividends for our shareholders in the long term."
The company will propose a dividend distribution of 60 cents per share, corresponding to a total of €29 million, at its Annual General Meeting.
The company's majority interest in the second-largest Australian sugar producer, Mackay Sugar Ltd. (MSL), developed in line with expectations and positively contributed to the group's result in the 2020/21 financial year, it added.
In 2019, Nordzucker acquired a 70% stake in Mackay as part of its strategy to expand outside the European market.
The company's comprehensive transformation programme generated around €55 million, which significantly improved its earnings, it said.
CEO Dr Lars Gorissen commented, "Our employees have made this success possible by actively supporting our transformation programme Act Now! with many ideas. Especially under the difficult conditions during the Corona pandemic, everyone showed personal commitment, a sense of responsibility and flexibility. That was a great performance."
Nordzucker has also adopted a new sustainability strategy until 2030 in line with the Science-Based-Targets Initiative.
COO of Nordzucker, Axel Aumüller, explained, "Sustainability has always been strongly integrated into our business. For us, sustainability means more than working against climate change.
"Social engagement throughout the supply chain, the production of sustainable products, the development of sustainable farming methods together with our beet growers, more environmentally friendly packaging, and much more are on our agenda for the coming years as well. These initiatives are just as important for our business as technological and digital development and the continuous improvement of our processes."
The company expects a positive result for the 2021/22 financial year amid volatility, high competition, and increasing political and social demands in the sugar market.
Gorissen added, "We are rising to the challenges and have great ambitions. For the coming years, we have launched new initiatives in all core areas of the company under the motto 'Good.Better.Excellent!' to further optimise ourselves comprehensively, to digitalise and to reduce our costs."