(Adds detail, company comment)
HAMBURG, Sept 22 Europe's largest sugar refiner
Suedzucker increased its full-year earnings forecast
on Thursday after rising sugar prices fuelled a 56 percent jump
in half-year earnings.
Raw sugar futures reached a four-year high on Sept. 19,
supported by tightening global sugar supplies, and Rabobank has
forecast a global sugar deficit of 7.2 million tonnes in the
2016/17 season after a 7.9 million tonne shortfall in the
Suedzucker now expects group operating profit in its 2016/17
financial year to reach between 340 million euros and 390
million euros ($382 million to $438 million). That compares with
a previous forecast of 250 million euros to 350 million euros
and a 2015/16 result of 241 million euros.
Operating profit rose to 209 million euros in the six months
to Aug. 31, against 134 million euros in the same period last
year, Suedzucker said in an advance release of its results.
"This earnings increase is caused especially by the
development in the sugar segment," the company said in a
The improvement came in spite of a 4 percent dip in
half-year revenue and a company spokesman said: "The sugar price
in Europe is recovering; on the world market we are even seeing
prices moving upwards."
The Suedzucker group's special product sectors, including
food ingredients and starches, benefited from reduced costs
because of lower commodity prices, as did biofuel unit
CropEnergies, the spokesman said.
CropEnergies reiterated its outlook on Thursday,
saying that lower raw material costs were compensating for
weaker bioethanol prices.
Suedzucker will announce detailed half-year results on Oct.
($1 = 0.8896 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Hogan and Ludwig Burger; Editing by David