Mannheim, 20 May 2009 - CropEnergies AG, Mannheim, has continued on its successful growth path in the past 2008/09 financial year (1 March 2008 to 28 February 2009).
Revenues were up 76% to ? 328.4 (186.8) million. With a Group operating profit of 18.2 (22.0) million, CropEnergies achieved a respectable result under difficult market conditions. Despite the start-up costs for the new plant in Wanze, Belgium, the related higher financing costs, and the non-recurrence of the one-off tax income booked the year before, CropEnergies posted Group net earnings for the year of 5.9 (20.1) million. The parent company CropEnergies AG improved its net earnings for the year substantially to 6.0 (1.2) million and was able to offset the remaining losses carried forward from the previous years.
Even after implementing the investment programme, which has increased the annual capacity to over 700,000 m³ of bioethanol, CropEnergies has a solid financing structure. Shareholders? equity amounts to ? 309 million, equivalent to 54% of total assets.
CropEnergies increased its bioethanol production in the 2008/09 financial year by 77% to 436,000 (247,000) m³. This is the result of the expansion programme initiated in 2006 and strengthens CropEnergies position as Germanys largest producer of bioethanol and one of the leading players in Europe. Sales of bioethanol were up 73% to 482,000 (279,000) m³. One-third of the growth was attributable to a step-up in trading activities in preparation for the new plant in Belgium coming on stream. Production and sales of the high-grade protein animal feed ProtiGrain® were also up by over 15%.
The capacity growth at CropEnergies comes at a time when the European market for bioethanol is expected to grow dynamically with the passing of the Renewable Energies Directive. In the 2009/10 financial year the company therefore expects to further expand production and sales of bioethanol versus the previous year and achieve revenues in excess of 400 million. Despite volatile raw material prices and lower ethanol prices, CropEnergies expects an operating profit above last years level.
The focus in the 2009/10 financial year will be on the utilisation and optimisation of the production plants. In addition, further investments are planned to extend the value chain. In the long term, research and development activities in the areas of second-generation biofuels and the use of bioethanol in fuel cells are expected to open up new growth potential for CropEnergies.
The CropEnergies AG
The CropEnergies Group - a member of the Südzucker Group - is a leading European producer of sustainably manufactured bioethanol for the fuel sector. "Crop" stands for "creative regeneration of power". Energy in the form of bioethanol is produced from renewable resources - grain and sugar beets.
CropEnergies considers itself a pioneer on the German bioethanol market and expands its market position in Europe. With subsidiaries in Germany, Belgium, and France, CropEnergies is one of the leading bioethanol producers in the European growth market for renewable energies. The shares of CropEnergies AG (ISIN DE000A0LAUP1) are listed in the Prime Standard at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.