Suedzucker's fiscal Q2 net earnings down 9% year-over-year to €50M on lower sugar segment revenues; revenue up 0.7% to €1.54B

MANNHEIM, Germany , October 14, 2010 (press release) – Südzucker AG Mannheim/Ochsenfurt, based in Mannheim, boosted group revenues in the first half of the current financial year 2010/11 (March 1 to August 31, 2010) by about five percent compared to the same period last year: from 2.9 to 3.1 billion euro. The special products, CropEnergies and fruit segments in particular contributed to the increase. The sugar segment's revenues declined as expected in the second quarter on the heels of the strong export-driven first quarter.


Group operating profit jumped 57 percent, from 179 to 282 million euro. This growth was driven especially by sugar exports to non-EU countries as a result of the one-time quota increase set by the EU in the first quarter. Also all other segments contributed to this earnings improvement.

Südzucker was able to reduce net debt as of August 31, 2010 by 186 million to 776 million euro from last year's 962 million euro.

The company now expects the group's revenues for fiscal 2010/11 overall to rise slightly year-over-year and come in at around 5.8 billion (last year: 5.7) euro. While revenues in the sugar segment will again be lower, higher revenues are expected from the special products, CropEnergies and fruit segments.

An operating profit of more than 450 (last year: 403) million euro is forecast. The sugar segment's operating profit recovery will continue in the first full year after completion of the EU sugar market restructuring phase. An operating profit increase is also expected in the CropEnergies and fruit segments. Given the excellent performance during the first half year, the special product segment's operating profit is now only expected to be slightly below last year's.

Summary of group figures as of August 31, 2010
EUR million    2nd quarter    1st half year   
     2010/11    2009/10    Change %    2010/11    2009/10    Change %   
Revenues    1.535    1.524    0,7%    3.068    2.935    4,5%   
EBITDA    181    132    36,4%    376    261    44,1%   
EBITDA margin    11,8%    8,7%         12,3%    8,9%        
Depreciation    -48    -42    14,4%    -95    -82    15,1%   
Operating profit    133    91    46,5%    282    179    57,4%   
Operating margin    8,7%    6,0%         9,2%    6,1%        
Restructuring costs and special items    -19    6    -    -19    5    -   
Income from operations    114    97    17,7%    262    184    42,6%   
                                  
Net earnings for the period attributable to Südzucker shareholders    50    55    -9,0%    123    103    19,4%   
Earnings per share (EUR) (undiluted)    0,27    0,29    -8,9%    0,65    0,54    19,4%   
                                  
Cash flow    135    128    5,1%    270    243    10,9%   
Investments in fixed assets    64    65    -0,5%    111    101    9,6%   
                                  
Net financial debt (as of reporting date)                   776    962    -19,3%   
                                  
Average number of employees                   18.062    17.598    2,6%   
 
The Südzucker Group

Südzucker, with its sugar, special products, CropEnergies and fruit segments, is one of the leading companies in the food industry. In the traditional sugar business, the group is the world market leader, with 29 sugar factories and three refineries, extending from France in the west via Belgium, Germany and Austria, through to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia and Moldova in the east. The special products segment, consisting of the functional food (BENEO Group), starch, chilled/frozen products (Freiberger) and portion packs businesses, is an important growth driver. The CropEnergies segment covers the bioethanol activities in Germany, Belgium and France. In the fruit segment, the group operates internationally, is the world market leader for fruit preparations and is a leading supplier of fruit juice concentrates in Europe. In 2009/10, the group employed 17,500 persons and generated revenues of 5.7 billion euro.

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