BIOPETROL achieves profitable growth in 2007
- Sales are up 71 %
- Gross Profit climbs 33 %
- Net profit reaches almost 4.4 million euros
BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG significantly increased sales and gross profit in financial year 2007 (1 January to 31 December). Group sales, adjusted for the mineral oil tax, climbed 71 % to 218.1 (previous year: 127.6) million euros. Gross profit grew almost 33% to 23.8 (17.9) million euros, with a gross profit margin of 10.9 (14.1) %. EBITDA was maintained at 8.3 (8.6) million euros. Net profit, on the other hand, fell 23 % to 4.4 (5.7) million euros. The background to this development is the constantly rising prices for raw materials, the tax on biofuels in Germany, and cheap imports from the USA (B99), which have pressured the market environment and have caused persisting pressure on margins for all biodiesel manufacturers in Germany.
"In view of the negative market environment, we are perfectly satisfied with our sales and the results of business year 2007. Even in these circumstances, and in spite of preproduction costs in Rotterdam, we have earned a positive result once more, and that's a great success in comparison with our competitors. It also makes us confident that we will emerge as the winners from the political event driven readjustment of the German market", says Klaus Henschel, Chief Executive Officer of BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG.
Share of sales outside Germany increased
More than 36 % of group proceeds were earned outside Germany in the financial year 2007. In the previous year, the share taken by exports was less than 5 %. This development has markedly reduced our dependence on the German biodiesel market. We were able to develop new markets, primarily in Northern and Eastern Europe, with the first class logistics of our location in Rostock. The new plant, located at Europe's largest refinery centre in the port of Rotterdam, will when brought into operation, be seamlessly incorporated into our strategy of internationalization, becoming a driver of growth for 2008.
With a share of 94.4 %, the major part of sales were for our main product, biodiesel in of EN 14214 quality standard. High-margin production of bioglycerine contributed 3.2 % to total sales, while trading in vegetable oils and other raw materials contributed 2.4 %.
Sales more than doubled in the closing quarter
We were able to more than double sales in the fourth quarter of 2007: these rose 105.6 % to 62.7 (30.5) million euros. The enormous price increases for our raw materials, on the other hand, reduced gross profit to 4.8 (5.4) million euros. This corresponds to a margin of 7.6 (17.8) %. Advance costs for our staff build-up and in the administrative domain for the works in Rotterdam pushed EBITDA down by 13 % to 2.8 (3.2) million euros, and net profit fell to 0.9 (3.0) million euros.
Solid balance-sheet and financial structure
BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG has created all the prerequisites for securing the financing of future investments. The basis for this was laid in February 2007 with of the placing of a convertible bond worth 75 million euros. On the balance-sheet date of 31 December 2007, the capital-to-assets ratio was around 38.4 %, as planned. Liquid assets at the end of the year amounted to 30.6 million euros. Cash flow from business operations was -7.0 million euros, compared with the previous year's positive result of 10.0 million euros. This development can mostly be ascribed to increase in working capital for the business growth.
BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG is planning to continue its strategy of growth and internationalization in 2008. With the new plant in Rotterdam, the group will have total biodiesel capacity of 750,000 t annually and will be one of the five leading biodiesel producers in Europe. Besides the production of biodiesel, the manufacture and marketing of coproducts is progressing. For bioglycerine, the coproduct that is in heavy demand in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and food industries, Schwarzheide has a capacity of 30,000 t now, and Rotterdam will add a further 60,000 t in 2008. A third facility being built in Rostock will go into operation in 2nd half 2008. This will make BIOPETROL the largest manufacturer of refined bioglycerine in Europe.
Current tax policies, cheap imports and soaring prices for vegetable oils are burdening the biodiesel market in Germany. The strategy of positioning the group internationally early on, thus reducing our dependence on the German market, has proved to be the right one. In 2007, approximately 36% of group proceeds came from outside Germany and, in 2008, 60% of sales should be mainly elsewhere in Europe. With investments in first-class facilities in the best locations, with progressive internationalisation and the use of economies of scale, BIOPETROL intends to emerge as one of the winners from the current consolidation of the German biodiesel market.
BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG
With its German, Dutch and Swiss subsidiaries, BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG, which has its head office in Zug (Switzerland), produces and sells biodiesel and pharmaceutical-grade glycerine of the highest quality. Among our customers are the oil industry and oil traders, large-scale fleet operators, public short-distance transport, as well as the agricultural and construction industries. The pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries are in addition supplied with bioglycerine of pharmaceutical quality.
At the present date, BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG has annual productive capacities in Schwarzheide and Rostock of around 350,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 30,000 tonnes of pharmaceutical-grade glycerine. In Rotterdam, BIOPETROL is building an installation with an annual productive capacity of 400,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 60,000 tonnes of bioglycerine. By the end of 2008, annual capacity should then be more than doubled to a total of 750,000 tonnes of biodiesel. Further expansion of capacity in Rotterdam is planned. We are working actively on extending our product range, based on the coproduct bioglycerine.