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Suedzucker, CropEnergies executives leave after biofuel problems

May 1, 2015
Food & Drink
(Reuters) – Europe’s leading sugar maker Suedzucker and its biofuels unit CropEnergies said on Thursday two senior executives had left the group following poor performances in its bioethanol sector.
 
Suedzucker executive board member Lutz Guderjahn has resigned and has ceased working for the company, Suedzucker said. Guderjahn has also resigned as deputy chairman of the supervisory board of the group’s bioethanol unit CropEnergies .
 
CropEnergies also said its chief operating officer Marten Keil had resigned from the CropEnergies’ executive board.
 
“We now hope that the business development in the sectors involved will improve,” a Suedzucker spokesman said, adding the executives had left with the mutual agreement of both parties.
 
On April 10 Suedzucker had warned its 2015 operating profit could fall significantly because of difficult sugar and bioethanol markets in Europe.
 
Bioethanol prices have been weak because of falling grain and energy prices and slack consumption.
 
CropEnergies warned on April 10 its 2015/16 performance could range between an operating loss of 20 million euros and operating profit of 10 million.
 
CropEnergies said on Feb. 18 it had suspended production at its British unit Ensus, one of Europe’s largest bioethanol plants, because of record low bioethanol prices and the strength of the British pound against the euro.
 
Suedzucker said it would distribute Guderjahn’s responsibilities among the four remaining executive board members. Joachim Lutz has been appointed as CropEnergies CEO. (Reporting by Patricia Uhlig; Writing by Michael Hogan; Editing by David Holmes)

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