(Adds detail, comment from spokesman)
HAMBURG Jan 12 Suedzucker, Europe's
largest sugar refiner, said on Thursday a good performance in
its key sugar sector helped fuel a 51.7 percent rise in
third-quarter net profit to 100 million euros ($106 million),
and lifted its full-year operating profit forecast.
"We had a good sugar price development in Europe," a
Suedzucker spokesman said. "Since summer 2016 we have seen a
positive and stable upward movement in EU prices."
"We have not increased the sales volumes, it is the recovery
Operating profit in the third quarter to the end of November
rose 47.3 percent to 133 million euros and sales rose 5.1
percent to 1.70 billion euros, Suedzucker said.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters on average forecast
third-quarter net profit of 51.7 million euros, operating profit
of 103 million euros and third-quarter sales of 1.74 billion
The company raised its forecast for group operating profit
in its 2016/17 financial year to the end of February to 380-410
million euros from 340-390 million previously, up from 241
million in the previous year.
Rising world market prices had supported European sugar
markets, the Suedzucker spokesman said.
Sugar futures hit a four-year high in October 2016 as
lowered expectations for Indian production and a sluggish end to
the cane processing season in Brazil generated talk of a global
Concern about a sugar cane shortage in India helped sugar
futures to rise again in January
"We are expecting the sugar segment's revenues to
stabilize," the company said in a statement. "Average sugar
sales revenues for the full fiscal year should be higher than
Following an operating sugar loss in 2015/16, the company
now expects sugar sector operating profit of 90-120 million
euros in the full year 2016/17, up from its previous guidance
for the sector of 80-110 million euros.
It also expects its sugar factories to run at high
throughput levels while cost saving programmes will also be
Green fuel unit CropEnergies is also expecting
positive earnings on increased output, partly as its British
plant in Wilton has resumed production.
($1 = 0.9429 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by Edward Taylor and Mark