HAMBURG (Reuters) – Europe’s largest sugar producer Suedzucker on Monday posted a rise of almost 40% in full year operating profit as improved sugar and bioethanol markets boosted earnings.
Group operating profit in the full financial year 2021/22 to the end of February rose to 330 million euros ($362.37 million) from 236 million euros in the previous year, the company said in an advance release of its annual results.
It had previously forecast full-year group operating profit of between 320 million and 380 million euros.
“The results have benefited from a good performance by the sugar sector and also from bioethanol,” a Suedzucker spokesman told Reuters. “Sugar demand in the EU remains stable and prices have improved since last year, but in our view are still not satisfactory.”
“We also continue to see benefits from our recent corporate restructuring and cost-cutting programme.”
Suedzucker unit CropEnergies, which produces the green fuel bioethanol, also posted improved results on Monday.
“In the current energy crisis we hope that more attention will be given to bioethanol as an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy source to reduce Europe’s dependency on crude oil,” the spokesman added.
Suedzucker group sales for the year rose about 13.4% to about 7.6 billion euros. The company proposed a full-year dividend of 40 euro cents against 20 cents last year.
The group’s full annual results will now be released on May 19, with no interim results on April 25 as previously scheduled, it said.
(Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Susan Fenton)