TATE-LYLE-SUGAR

ASR Group subsidiary Tate & Lyle Sugars has plunged into the red as oversupply has led to falling prices.

T&L, which was Tate & Lyle’s refining business until October 2010 before it was sold for £211m, has filed pre-tax losses of €3.4m (£2.5m) in the year to 28 September 2014, compared with €30.45m profit in 2013. Revenue fell by 26.5% to €517.84m, down from €704.7m the previous year.

T&L pointed to an EU regime it said favoured beet sugar producers over cane sugar refiners, making it expensive to buy raw materials.

Quantities of raw cane sugar available for import, refining and marketing within the EU were restricted, with a tariff system in place, increasing the cost of raw cane sugar above what would otherwise be available in world sugar markets, T&L added.

Sugar prices declined steeply during the year because of the oversupply caused by a large beet crop and the upcoming end to EU quotas in 2017.

“2013/14 was a challenging year for us, as it was for all European sugar producers, due to declining prices driven by high sugar stocks,” said Gerald Mason, ­senior vice president of corporate affairs.