24 Jan 2024 13:36

Ukraine's Astarta concludes sugar refining season, produces 377,500 tonnes of sugar

MOSCOW. Jan 24 (Interfax) - The Astarta agricultural holding, Ukraine's largest sugar producer, processed 2.7 million tonnes of sugar beet, grown by the holding itself and its partner farmers, at its five sugar refineries in the 2023-2024 operating season, producing 377,500 tonnes of sugar.

"The 2023 sugar refining season, which lasted for 130 days, was the best by volume of processed raw materials and sugar production over the past five years," Ukrainian media said, citing the company's press service.

Summing up the results of its harvesting campaign, Astarta said that its own divisions gathered 200,000 tonnes of corn with the yield of 10.35 tonnes per hectare, which is 16.2% more than in the previous year, and 2.2 million tonnes of sugar beet with the yield of 57.61 tonnes per hectare (+2.6%).

"The harvesting campaign took longer than usual due to a number of factors, such as challenging weather conditions, as intense and lengthy precipitation in October-November 2023 caused harvesting campaign delays and logistics difficulties while delivering raw materials to processing enterprises, followed by disruptions to the pace of several sugar refineries' operations. Another important factor was the higher yield of late crops: the yield index for corn and sugar beet was the highest since the holding began cultivating these crops," Astarta said, adding that it continues preparations for the spring sowing campaign.

Astarta is a vertically integrated agro-industrial holding operating in eight regions of Ukraine. It includes six sugar factories, agricultural enterprises with a land bank of 220,000 hectares, dairy farms with 22,000 heads of cattle, an oil extraction plant in Globino, Poltava region, seven grain elevators, and a biogas facility.

Astarta's net profit saw a 27.7-fold drop to 1.24 million euros in the third quarter of 2023 year-on-year. Its revenue fell 14.4% to 104.75 million euros, gross profit decreased by 2.7-fold to 26.96 million euros, operating profit fell 7.6-fold to 6.79 million euros, and EBITDA dropped 42.7% to 97.25 million euros.

Since Astarta's results in the first half of 2023 were much better than in the first half of 2022, the company's net profit declined 9.8% to 55.97 million euros in January-September 2023, while revenue rose 14.8% to 392 million euros. The company's gross profit increased 3% to 151.91 million euros, operating profit dropped 15.9% to 79.91 million euros, and EBITDA fell 10.8% to 116.63 million euros.