* Q3 sales up 11.7 pct to 2.13 bln euros vs f‘cast 2 bln
* Op profit 254 mln euros vs f‘cast 239 mln (Recasts with third quarter result, adds detail)
HAMBURG, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Europe’s largest sugar company Suedzucker reported sales and earnings above analysts’ expectations and said it remains confident of rising full-year profits as its key sugar division meets strong demand.
Suedzucker said third-quarter sales to Nov. 30, 2012, rose 11.7 percent on the year to 2.13 billion euros ($2.8 billion) and operating profit rose 6.5 percent to 254 million, above analysts’ expectations.
A Reuters poll of analysts had found an average sales forecast of 2 billion euros and operating profit estimate of 239 million euros.
Sales in the first nine months of Suedzucker’s 2012/13 fiscal year rose to 6.05 billion euros, up 15.3 percent from the same time last year.
Operating profit in the nine months between Mar. 1 and Nov. 30 rose to 816 million euros from 586 million.
The company said it achieved good performances in all its sectors, including its key sugar and bioethanol divisions.
“The sugar segment reported sharply higher revenues than last year in the first nine months of fiscal 2012/13, up about 18 percent to 3.30 billion euros,” it said.
“The significant revenue increase was driven especially by higher sugar sales revenues ... Furthermore, the larger harvest in 2011 resulted in higher exports in line with available (EU) export licenses.”
The company said it still expects group revenue to rise to about 7.5 billion euros in the full fiscal year 2012/13 from 7.0 billion in the previous year.
The company expects operating profit to rise to over 900 million euros in the full year from 751 million, most of which will come from the sugar segment.
This was the same forecast as given in September. ($1 = 0.7667 euros) (Reporting by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Holmes)