Prospects The price volatility of agricultural products has a significant influence on Cosun’s results. The impact of low European sugar prices in 2016 can clearly be seen in the results of the sugar activity. The termination of the EU sugar market in 2017 will transform market conditions. It will increase the production of sugar beet and create additional competitive pressures. Price levels in the fourth quarter are therefore uncertain. Nevertheless, we expect the sugar activities to improve on their operating profit in 2017 as a result of the lower costs arising from the 2016 campaign and higher selling prices for sugar in Europe and on the world market during the first three quarters in comparison with 2016.

Suiker Unie is well prepared for the new market conditions. Its production capacity has been considerably increased in anticipation of the end of the common market organisation and its market position was further strengthened during the past year. Less raw cane sugar will be refined and more beet will be processed into white sugar in 2017.

We expect Aviko to post a slightly lower result in the wake of the favourable market conditions in 2016. Sensus will see a modest decline in its result on account of the relentless competition. SVZ will see a limited fall in its result owing to variations in the harvests of its main types of fruit. We expect Duynie’s result to be lifted by a recovery in turnover and margins in improved market conditions.

Cosun will continue to invest in strengthening its presence in the various market segments in the year ahead. We will do so by investing in organic growth through efficiency gains and innovation and where possible in strategic acquisitions. We do not expect any change in the number of employees.