French sugar company Beghin Say reported yesterday that sales for 2002 had edged back by just 1.8 per cent, amid the constant scope of consolidation and exchange rates.
Reported sales declined by 20 per cent to €1.498m from €1.871m in 2001. The company said the changes were essentially due to changes in the scope of consolidation. The divestment of the Italian operations on 10 April, 2002 was only partially offset by the first-time full year consolidation of the Brazilian subsidiary that was acquired by Beghin-Say on 1 October 2001.
In France, quota sugar sales rose slightly even though market conditions remained difficult, as in the rest of the EU and in Hungary the company reported that demand held firm in both the table-top and industrial segments. Higher selling prices in the domestic market and increased exported volumes supported sales growth over the year.
Beghin-Say added that in Brazil, unit sales were higher than expected in the industry segment and stable in the other segments. The decline in world sugar prices quoted in dollars was offset by the increase in sugar prices expressed in local currency thanks to a favourable dollar/real exchange rate.