SAO PAULO, June 22 (Reuters) - Brazil’s Sao Martinho sugar and ethanol group said on Monday that it plans to increase its sugar production by more than 5 percent in the current April-March cane crushing season from the previous 12 months, at the expense of ethanol output.
In its initial guidance for the 2015/2016 season, the milling group said it expected to produce 1.295 million tonnes of sugar compared with 1.231 million last season, while its ethanol production is expected to fall.
In its annual income statement, Sao Martinho said that 52 percent of the 19.5 million tonnes of cane it plans to crush this year would be devoted to sugar production, with 48 percent left over for ethanol.
In the crop and financial year that ended on March 31, the group allocated only 49 percent of the 18.72 million tonnes of cane crushed to sugar, with the slight majority going to ethanol.
Sao Martinho’s 2014/15 net income grew 112 percent from the previous season to 286 million reais ($93 million), with 56.6 million reais of those annual net profits coming in the final January-to-March quarter.
In the past year, Sao Martinho’s cane crush grew 20 percent from the previous season to 18.7 million tonnes, which boosted both output of sugar and ethanol in the 12 months ending in March.
Sugar production rose by 25 percent at 1.23 million tonnes, while anhydrous ethanol grew by 13 percent to 438 million liters and hydrous grew by 40 percent to 353 million liters.
The company also boosted its energy generation from cane biomass by 63 percent last year to 720,000 megawatt hours. (Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Ed Davies)