Adjusted operating profit for AB Sugar is expected to be well ahead of the same period last year.

Associated British Foods
Monday, February 27, 2023
AB Sugar traded strongly in the first half with revenues expected to be some 26% higher than the same period last year due to higher sugar prices in Africa and Europe and an increase in bioethanol sales following the recommissioning of Vivergo. The adjusted operating profit margin at AB Sugar is expected to reduce as the contribution from higher sugar and coproduct prices was more than offset by the impact of higher energy costs and, for Vivergo, also higher wheat costs which led to a loss in the half year. Adjusted operating profit for AB Sugar is expected to be well ahead of the same period last year. European sugar prices continued to improve over last year as a result of lower European sugar production. Estimates for EU sugar production in the 2022/23 campaign are now some 10% lower than last year due to lower yields caused by adverse weather and a smaller growing area. Both European and world sugar prices remain high. Our UK and Spanish businesses have largely contracted sales for the year at these improved prices. UK sugar production for the 2022/23 campaign is still expected to be 0.74 million tonnes, down from 1.03 million tonnes from the last campaign. This fall in production reflects lower beet sugar yields following unusually adverse weather conditions. British Sugar has moved swiftly to secure alternative sources of supply and is working with customers to ensure continuity of supply. Energy cost inflation has been significant even though mitigated by government support. The shortfall in UK sugar beet production will result in much lower profitability at British Sugar in the second half.
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