European sugar producer Südzucker has reported an 11% year-on-year increase in revenue, to €2.5 billion, in the first quarter of its financial year.
Lower sales volume due to scheduled maintenance shutdowns and the fall in ethanol prices also contributed to this development, the company noted.
Group EBITDA climbed to €356 million from €236 million in the first quarter of 2022.
Südzucker expects group revenue to range between €10.4 to 10.9 billion for its current financial year.
The sugar, special products and starch segments' revenues are forecast to increase significantly, while the fruit segment's revenues are anticipated to increase moderately, the company noted.
The company has projected group EBITDA in the range of €1.2 to €1.4 billion, up from its previous forecast of €1.1 and €1.3 billion approximately.
The CropEnergies segment's revenues are likely to be at the prior year's level, it added.
In the first quarter, the sugar segment generated revenue worth €924 million, up from €727 million last year.
The increase was achieved despite declining volumes due to the poor harvest in 2022.
The special products segment's revenues amounted to €611 million, up from €515 million last year, driven mainly by higher prices.
In the starch segment, revenues remained stable, at €293 million, with overall increase in sales volumes offsetting the decline in volumes.
Sugar Beet Cultivation
Südzucker's sugar beet cultivation area increased 7.9% year-on-year in 2023 to about 350,100 hectares.
The months of March and April 2023 saw cool and wet weather in almost all regions and beet sowing did commence until the end of March.
It was interrupted repeatedly due to rainfall and could not be completed until the end of April/beginning of May, which is around three to five weeks later than in the previous year.