VIENNA, AUSTRIA — For the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, AGRANA reported on Oct. 9 that operating profit was €87 million ($110.7 million), a drop of 16.5% from the same period a year earlier.

“While the Starch segment was able to raise its EBIT, the Sugar and Fruit segments as expected lost ground as a result of lower revenue," said AGRANA Chief Executive Officer Johann Marihart.

EBIT for the Starch segment was up 11% to €25.2 million. Revenue for the segment fell 3.8% to €351.2 million. The decline resulted mainly from lower selling prices, which were only partly offset by higher quantities sold.

Non-recurring expenses of €4.6 million for streamlining the location structure of fruit preparations production sites in Austria weighed on profitability in the Fruit segment.

AGRANA said it was able to cut energy costs group-wide by approximately 8% compared to the year-earlier reporting period, despite higher processing volumes. In view of the difficult market environment, AGRANA will continue to put strong emphasis on structural optimization and rigorous cost management.

For the 2014-15 financial year, AGRANA expects a significant decrease in Group revenue, driven by much lower average prices. For operating profit (EBIT), the Group is projecting a significant reduction as a result of the price declines that are manifesting notably for sugar and ethanol.