11 Jan 2018 --- In the first three quarters of the 2017/18 financial year, Agrana Beteiligungs-AG achieved slight year-on-year growth of 2.2 percent in group revenue to €2,010.6 million (US$2,400.4 million) (Q1-Q3 prior year: €1,967.5 million (US$2,349.8 million)). Profit for the period rose to €171.6 million (US$204.9 million), an increase of 24.6 percent from the year-earlier result of €137.7 million (US$164.4 million).
“Earnings for the first nine months were satisfactory on balance thanks to the strong first half of the year. As expected, EBIT in the third quarter was significantly lower than one year earlier due to recently increased raw material costs from the 2017 harvest and reduced sugar sales prices after the end of the sugar quotas,” explains Agrana’s Chief Executive Officer, Johann Marihart.
In the Sugar segment, revenue in the first three-quarters of 2017/18 increased by 3.4 percent year-on-year to €550.6 million (US$657.3 million) and EBIT grew from €23.1 million (US$27.5 million) to €42.1 million (US$50.2 million). The increase was made possible largely by the fact that in the first six months, the sales price environment was still better than in the year-earlier period.
Revenue in the Starch segment for the first nine months of 2017/18 was €576.0 million (US$688 million), or 4.4 percent above the year-ago value. Drivers of revenue growth were higher sales volumes and an increase in bioethanol prices relative to the same period of the prior year. EBIT of €70.4 million (US$84 million) surpassed the year-earlier result by 21.4 percent. The rise in earnings was attributable to the higher ethanol prices in the first half of the year as well as to productivity gains, stable raw material costs and lower energy costs. The significant EBIT decrease in the third quarter, which was expected after the very good year-ago quarter, resulted especially from the comparatively higher raw material costs for grain from the 2017 crop.
Fruit segment revenue in the first three-quarters of 2017/18 was €884.0 million (US$105.5 million), in line with the year-earlier period. EBIT, at €59.1 million (US$70 million), represented an increase of 4.4 percent from one year earlier. While the fruit preparations business generated a significant earnings improvement, EBIT in the fruit juice concentrate activities fell significantly in the third quarter as a result of the crop-related lower utilization of production capacity.
For the full 2017/18 financial year, Agrana expects a slight increase in the group’s revenue and a significant improvement in EBIT. In the 2017/18 financial year, the Agrana group intends to invest a total of about €140 million (US$167.2 million).
At its meeting on November 10, 2017, the Supervisory Board of Agrana Beteiligungs-AG extended the term of Management Board member Fritz Gattermayer to August 31, 2022.
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