German sugar maker Nordzucker returns to profit

HAMBURG, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Germany’s second largest sugar refiner Nordzucker has returned to profit this financial year, helped by cost cutting and stable European sugar markets, it said on Thursday.

The unlisted company said it expected only “a relatively small decline” in sales volumes in its 2020/21 financial year, which started in March, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will in all likelihood close the current fiscal year with a good profit,” said CEO Lars Gorissen in a statement after the company’s shareholders meeting.

“We are profitable again. And this is due not only to the general conditions, but also to our decisive cost reduction measures throughout the Nordzucker group.”

Nordzucker posted in May a 15 million euro ($18 million) net loss for its 2019/20 financial year against a loss of 36 million euros in the previous year, following benefits from cost-cutting and efficiency programmes.

Germany’s Suedzucker, Europe’s largest sugar refiner, posted on Thursday a 142% surge in second-quarter earnings and reaffirmed its estimate of a stronger annual profit with its sugar and biofuels sectors performing well.

$1 = 0.8503 euros Reporting by Michael Hogan, editing by Mark Potter