German sugar refiner Südzucker booked an increase in profit in the first nine months of the year but witnessed a third-quarter slow down.

Consolidated group operating profit rose to EUR816m (US$1.08bn) from EUR586m for the period to the end of November. In the third quarter, however, Südzucker said that while profit remained at a high level, it was “significantly weaker, as expected”. It did not disclose figures for that period.

The firm’s sugar division reported a 53.2% increase in operating profit in the nine months, driven mainly by a sales increase of 18% and higher commodity costs.

“While last year only the price level in Eastern Europe tracked world market prices on account of the terms of various contracts, in fall 2011 revenues in Western Europe caught up,” the company said. “This is why significant growth was reported in the first half of fiscal 2012/13, which weakened in the third quarter of the reporting period as expected.”

Group revenues in the period, climbed to EUR6.05bn from EUR5.24bn in the comparable period last year.

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By GlobalData