Beghin-Say reports 1Q results

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French sugar company Beghin-Say sees slight rise in sales, with
good results in Hungary offsetting problems in western Europe.

French sugar manufacturer Beghin-Say reported a 3 per cent increase in sales in the first quarter of 2002, from the same period last year. Sales rose from €431.6 million to €444.7 million.

However the company pointed out that Brazilian subsidiary Acucar Guarani added €31.5 million to overall sales. At constant exchange rates and scope of consolidation, sales were in fact down 4.2 per cent from the same period last year, attributed to lower sales in France and Italy, partially offset by higher sales in Hungary, the company said.

Operating income rose by 12 per cent to €33.5 million in the first quarter, or 11.8 per cent excluding that attributed to the aforementioned Brazilian business. The company said that higher costs had a negative effect on results in Italy.

Net income grew 83.3 per cent to €14.3 million from the March 2001 figures, reflecting higher operating income, lower net interest expense and a reduced net non-recurring expense of €1.5 million (down from €3 million in the 2001 first quarter). The impact of these items was partially offset by higher corporate income tax said Beghin-Say.

The company remained positive in its 2002 outlook - "satisfactory production in Hungary and Brazil, now contributing to results on a full-year basis, is expected to offset the less positive situation in France,"​ it said in a statement.

It added that the year's results would depend on fluctuations in world sugar prices and prices at the end of the year. "The Group is nonetheless confident in its ability to improve return on capital employed in 2002 in light to the changes to its scope of consolidation,"​ it concluded.

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