November 4, 2019 / 9:43 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Tereos names Europe sugar head as overhaul continues

(Adds detail, background)

PARIS, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Tereos, one of the world’s largest sugar makers, said on Monday it had appointed Olivier Leducq as head of its European sugar activities, adding to management changes at the French group that has been grappling with a severe market downturn.

Leducq has been Tereos’ head of sugar for France since 2015 and for the UK since earlier this year, the group said in a statement.

The company also named David Sergent to head its cooperative members division.

He will be in charge of launching new farming initiatives in the coming months to boost prospects for Tereos’ members, the statement said.

Yves Belegaud, previously in charge of the members division and Tereos’ eastern European business, is to leave the group, Tereos added.

Tereos, which has reported shrinking profits linked to a slump in global sugar prices, has overhauled its senior management in the past year including by changing its chief financial officer.

Other EU sugar producers have also been struggling, with Germany’s Nordzucker last week posting a first-half pre-tax loss, citing continuing low sugar prices.

Tereos, a farmer-owned cooperative, has furthermore been faced with an internal feud for over a year. That led to the election of a new chairman, Jean-Charles Lefebvre, after his predecessor lost his board seat at a general meeting.

The group also reorganised its trading arm Tereos Commodities in April, appointing a new head of sugar trading.

It then confirmed in August it would close several trading desks around the world by the end of March 2020 as part of a global review of its strategy.

Beyond its historic sugar beet activities, Tereos has expanded geographically, mainly in cane sugar and ethanol in Brazil, and has widened its business to starch and sweeteners. (Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide and Gus Trompiz Editing by Bate Felix and Dale Hudson)

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