Starch company Cerestar, a recent acquisition of Cargill, reported an improvement in third quarter results, with a Cerestar group operating income of EUR 5.3 million (compared to a negative EUR 13.1 million at the end of September 2000). The results, released this week, account for the period of nine months ending 30th September, 2001. The company stated that this improvement arises from operations in Europe (EUR + 10.3 million versusthe end of September, 2000), in the U.S.A. (EUR + 7.5 million versus the endof September 2000) and in Japan (EUR + 0.6 million). To highlight the key factors making up this recovery, thedevelopment of Cerestar's results has been analysed by geographic area. The European operating income shows an improvement of EUR + 10.3 million bycomparison with that in September, 2000. The increase in turnover of 6.3%, compared to September, 2000, is basedpartly on volume growth (+ 2.3% versus 2000) and partly on maintenance ofthe higher prices established in the first half-year (+ 4% versus 2000). European activity levels slowed in the third quarter (operating income EUR 18.7 million) by comparison with the first half year (operating income EUR 49.6 million), mainly due to the difficulties encountered in the paper and corrugating sector. In North America the volume recovery in glucoses, high fructose syrups and nativestarches continued in the third quarter (volume gains versus the low levelsof September, 2000: + 22%). On the other hand, price trends remaincontrasted, with solid gains in glucose and fructose syrups, but weakerlevels in native starches. The operating result remains in severe deficit. The third quarter loss (EUR 14.2 million) is considerably reduced compared to that of the first half year (EUR 48.5 million). The group's share of net income is EUR -29.5 million, an improvement of EUR 40.7 million by comparison with the same period of 2000. In a statement Cerestar reported that October confirms the trend of the first nine months, but due to the general economic situation and the normal seasonal effect, sales for the last months of the year are expected to be at a lower level.