SOURCE: BBI International

BBI International

May 10, 2013 15:39 ET

Ethanol Producers Report Strong Q1 Earnings in 2013

Fueled by Strong Margins, New Technology and Better Efficiencies, Ethanol Producers Are Rising From One of the Most Difficult Industry Environments

GRAND FORKS, ND--(Marketwired - May 10, 2013) -  During the last few weeks, Ethanol Producer Magazine reported improved margins and increased coproduct income for many of the major ethanol groups. Due to the vision of many executive leadership teams to develop new strategies, combined with improved efficiencies at the plants, ethanol companies produced significant first quarter earnings in 2013.

The Andersons - The ethanol group had operating income of $2.5 million in the first quarter, which compares to $100,000 earned during the same period of 2012. Total revenues for the quarter were $199 million. In comparison, the group's revenues for the same period last year were $151 million. The revenue increase is primarily due to the added volume from the Denison, Iowa plant, which was acquired in the second quarter of 2012 and the higher income the result of improved ethanol margins and increased co-product income. All four of its ethanol plants now sell corn oil and E85. The sale of those value-added production plus distillers dried grains and CO2 remains a focus of the group as it contributes to a more consistent income base, the company said in its earnings report.

Abengoa Bioenergy SA - The company reported first quarter revenues of EUR 1.85 billion ($2.42 billion), an increase of 19 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were up 20 percent at EUR 270 million.

Also on April 1, Abengoa Bioenergy announced that yield increases of 40 percent have been achieved in the past year. "The scientific, technical and business developments achieved by Abengoa Bioenergy New Technologies in the field of enzymes allow the company to anticipate achievement, in 2013, of the profitability targets for this stage of the process," the announcement said. ABNT is negotiating contracts for the production of yeasts and enzymes in anticipation of the startup of Abengoa's first second-generation ethanol plant, Abengoa Bioenergy Biomass of Kansas.

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. - Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. experienced significant financial improvement from the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, the company reported during a May 1 conference call. "Our performance over the last 12 months shows the great opportunity that we have in front of us, coming out of the most difficult industry environment we have seen in our history," said Todd Becker, president and CEO.

The company's first quarter, which ended March 31, resulted in net income of $2.6 million, or 8 cents per diluted share. "The benefits of our multi-year diversification strategy, combined with operational excellence and risk management were all factors that contributed to the positive results, with nearly a $24 million increase in operating income year over year," Becker said.

Valero Energy Corp. - Valero Energy Corp. released its financial results for the first quarter of 2013, reporting an operating income of $14 million for its ethanol segment, a $5 million increase over the $9 million operating income reported during the same period of last year. In a call to discuss the results, Ashley Smith, vice president of investor relations, attributed the increase to higher gross margins per gallon.

ADM - ADM's Ethanol segment showed improved margins in first quarter of 2013. "Our ethanol business improved as declining inventories supported overall industry margins, and we began to see positive results from the actions we've been taking to improve the profitability of that business," said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. Profits for corn processing increased in total by $20 million compared to the same time period the year before to a total of $153 million as a result of profits in the ethanol segment.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. - Comparing the first quarter of this year to the same time period in 2012 shows several key improvements for Pacific Ethanol Inc. The company reported its quarter one financial results in a conference call May 9.

"Higher ethanol prices and more favorable market conditions in the second half of the quarter drove significant increases in both revenue and gross profit in the first quarter as compared to the prior year's period," said Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO. "When combined with the beneficial impact of our increased plant ownership in the first quarter and our continued efforts to control expenses, these factors resulted in a positive adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization]. We are optimistic about the second quarter as April production margins demonstrated an even more material improvement." View Improved Margin Chart

All of these companies, including many of their key decision makers will be attending the 29th annual International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo (FEW), held June 10-13, 2013 in St. Louis, MO.

To learn more about the FEW visit:

About BBI International:
Founded in 1995, BBI International produces globally recognized bioenergy events and trade magazines. In addition to the International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, the largest, longest-running ethanol conference in the world -- BBI International owns and operates the International Biomass Conference & Expo -- and the National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo. The company publishes Biomass Magazine, Ethanol Producer Magazine, Pellet Mill Magazine, Biodiesel Magazine and The Bakken magazine as well as a number of ancillary products.

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