Germany-based sugar giant Suedzucker has posted a 9% fall in second-quarter profits as one-off costs hit its bottom line.

The group booked net earnings of EUR50m (US$70.4m) for the three months to the end of August, down from EUR55m a year earlier.

Suedzucker ran up "restructuring and special items" costs of EUR19m due mainly to "risks in connection with value-added tax back payments for sugar shipped to Italy between 1994 and 1997". However, the group posted a 46.5% rise in operating profit to EUR133m.

The company's revenues rose 0.7% to EUR1.54bn in the second quarter, although growth slowed. During the first six months of the fiscal year, revenues were up 4.5% at EUR3.07bn.

First-half operating profit climbed 57.4% to EUR282m; net earnings were up 19.4% at EUR123m.

Suedzucker's first-half results led the company to raise its target for annual sales. The company is now forecasting full-year revenues to reach EUR5.8bn, up from previous guidance of EUR5.7bn. The group maintained its operating profit forecast of EUR450m.

Click here for the full earnings statement from Suedzucker.