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HAMBURG: Suedzucker, Europe’s largest sugar producer, on Wednesday reported a rise in full-year profit as losses were cut in its core sugar sector.

The company made an advance announcement of group operating profits in its 2020/21 financial year of about 230 million euros ($272.1 million), up from 116 million euros in the previous year.

This is at the upper end of Suedzucker’s expected 2020/21 operating profits in the 2020/21 year to end February of between 190 million and 240 million euros forecast in January.

Turnover in 2020/21 was unchanged at around 6.7 billion euros. The company had been due to announce figures on April 22.

“Our sugar sector has been achieving improved results but has not yet reached profits,” a Suedzucker spokesman said, without giving detailed figures. “This is partly due to the positive impact of our corporate restructuring programme and also because of higher sugar prices.”

“We had said previously that from October 2020 we have been achieving improved sugar prices with our customers but the improvements are not as high as we had hoped.”

Suedzucker said in January it expected its sugar sector to make a full-year operating loss of between 150 million and 110 million euros.

Sugar futures hit their highest in nearly four years in February, buoyed by tightening short-term supplies, but have since slipped from highs.

Suedzucker in 2019 announced closures of sugar factories in Germany, France and Poland under a restructuring programme to cut costs.

Suedzucker unit CropEnergies, a biofuel producer, also on Wednesday announced full-year 2020/2021 operating profit rose to 107 million euros from 104 million in the previous year due to positive average ethanol sales prices and early hedging against higher raw material prices.

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