CropEnergies: Q1 financial performance better than expected

By Erin Voegele | July 09, 2020

European ethanol producer CropEnergies released first quarter financial results on July 8, reporting reduced revenues, EBITDA and net income. The company, however, said impacts from COVID-19 were less severe than initially expected.

CropEnergies produced 208,000 cubic meters (54.95 million gallons) of ethanol during the fiscal first quarter of its 2020-’21 financial year, which began March 1 and concluded May 31. The company’s plant in Wanze, Belgium, experienced a delay in restarting following scheduled maintenance due to COVID-19-realted lockdown restrictions. Despite that delay, CropEnergies said production volumes for the quarter were stable when compared to the same period of 2019.

The company also reported a significant increase in the production of neutral alcohol at its plants in Zeitz, Germany, and Loon-Plage, France. CropEnergies said its expanded production of ethanol suitable for use in disinfectants helped close supply gaps resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, CropEnergies said financial performance during the quarter was better than initially expected. At the beginning of the year, the company said more severe impacts were anticipated due to COVID-19-related distortions in fuel demand and declining energy prices.

CropEnergies said there are signs that company earnings could improve in the second quarter as operating and mobility restrictions are being eased in many countries. As a result, fuel demand is expected to rebound. The demand for ethanol suitable for use in disinfectants is also expected to remain high.

CropEnergies reported revenues of €171 million ($192.94 million) for the fiscal first quarter, down from €203 million during the first quarter of last year. EBITDA fell to €18 million, down from €26 million. Net income was €7.9 million for the quarter, down from €10.6 million.

The company currently operates ethanol plants in Zeitz, Germany; Wanze, Belgium; Wilton, U.K.; and Loon-Plage, France.