VIENNA, AUSTRIA — AGRANA announced on Sept. 22 that in the first half of 2015-16 (the six months to  Aug. 31) it achieved operating profit (EBIT) of €68.7 million ($75,843,727), down 21% compared to €87million ($97,035,662) a year earlier. Group revenue in the first six months of 2015-16 was €1.263 billion ($1,336,821,244), a decrease of 1.7% from one year earlier.

While EBIT in the sugar segment was down significantly year-over-year as a result of the market environment, operating profit rose strongly in the starch segment thanks to the higher market prices for ethanol.

In view of the group’s solid first-half EBIT and the improved margin forecast in the ethanol business, AGRANA is upgrading its guidance for EBIT in the 2015-16 financial year from "significantly" to "moderately" below the prior year.

The report on the first half of 2015-16, including further details on the segments and the outlook for 2015-16, will be published on Oct. 8.