CropEnergies: 2018-’19 results impacted by low ethanol prices

By Erin Voegele | May 17, 2019

European ethanol producer CropEnergies AG has released financial results for its 2018-’19 financial year, reporting earnings were impacted by low ethanol prices and high input costs. Moving forward, the company expects prices to remain volatile, but improve slightly.

CropEnergies reported €779 million ($869.51 million) in revenues for the financial year, which spanned from March 1, 2018 through Feb. 28, 2019, down from €882 million during the previous financial year. Operating profit was €33 million, down from €72 million, while EBITDA fell to €72 million, down from €111 million. The company attributed the drop in financial performance to lower ethanol prices and high raw material and energy costs.

Due to falling ethanol prices, CropEnergies idled its Wilton, U.K., ethanol plant from December 2018 through the end of the financial year. As a result, ethanol production fell to 967,000 cubic meters for the year, down 16 percent from 2017-’18.

Moving into the 2019-’20 financial year, CropEnergies said it expects prices for ethanol to continue to be volatile, but increase slightly on average. Raw material costs are also expected to be slightly higher. The company currently predicts revenues for the full year will range between €800 million and 900 million, with operating profit in the range of €20 million to €70 million.

CropEnergies currently operates four ethanol plants, including a 400,000-cubic-meter-per-year facility in Zeitz, Germany; a 300,000-cubic-meter-per-year plant in Wanze, Belgium; a 400,000-cubic-meter-per-year facility in Wilton, U.K.; and facility in Loon-Plage, France that can produce up to 100,000 cubic meters of fuel ethanol annually.