MANNHEIM (dpa-AFX) - The Südzucker Group can continue to build on its strong sugar business. In the third quarter of the financial year (ending November), group sales rose by almost nine percent year-on-year to EUR 2.70 billion, as the SDax company announced in Mannheim on Thursday. The operating result climbed by almost 22 percent to 268 million euros. Südzucker had already announced in mid-December that the previous year's figure of EUR 220 million was likely to be significantly exceeded. The sugar business in particular is driving business with high prices despite falling volumes, while the biofuel subsidiary Cropenergies is doing less well. Südzucker's specialty segment, which includes frozen pizzas, also grew significantly.

The bottom line for shareholders was a net profit of 163 million euros. This was a good 17 percent more than a year earlier. The Mannheim-based company confirmed its financial forecast for the current financial year (end of February)./men/mis