Press release BoxID: 264027 (BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG)
  • Baarerstraße 53 / 55
  • 6304 Zug
  • Contact person
  • Gerd Rückel
  • +49 (69) 58997306

BIOPETROL misses target 2008 due to political handicaps - financial restructuring 2009 successfully completed

(PresseBox) (Zug/Switzerland, ) Rarely has a financial year brought such drastically radical changes for the international economy as did 2008. Industrial and newly industrializing countries all around the world find themselves in a serious recession, and international trading is stagnant. The volume of traffic, thus also the demand for mineral-oil products, including the biodiesel blending volume, fell by 14% in Germany in 2008. Conditions in the other European countries are comparable. The mineral oil tax on biodiesel in an open free market (B100), introduced in August 2006 following an unexpected reversal of government policy, has virtually brought sales of biodiesel at German filling stations to a standstill.

BIOPETROL wins market share

In this environment, nevertheless, BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG was able to win additional market share and push sales (excluding energy tax) up by 35.7% to 296.0 million euro (previous year: 218.1 million euro). Of these sales, 51.1% (previous year: 63.7%) were made to Germany and 48.9% (previous year: 36.3%) mainly to other European countries. We were able to exploit the logistical advantages of our seaport locations at Rostock and Rotterdam to strengthen our international trade in biodiesel and biodiesel components.

Earnings target missed because of political handicaps

Manufacturers of biodiesel have no more influence on the acquisition prices of vegetable oils than on the prices for fossil diesel fuel to which contractually agreed selling prices for biodiesel are coupled. Further escalated mineral oil taxes, highly subsidized cheap imports (B99) from the USA, mineral-oil and vegetable-oil prices at historic record levels in the first half of 2008, and an unparalleled collapse in the selling price together with dramatically falling quantities of mineral oil sold in the second half of the year, squeezed the margins for biodiesel from both sides. The fact that the quota for biofuels in Germany still has not been decided, combined with persisting uncertainty about the permissibility of various vegetable oils in the processing of biodiesel, further undermined the confidence of our clients in 2008, exacerbating the reluctance to buy that had already been induced by underlying economic conditions. In this environment, it was difficult to secure the right prices and quantities for large contracts.

The EBITDA fell to - 11.8 million euro (previous year: 8.3 million euro) and the EBIT was reduced even more markedly to - 20.8 million euro (previous year: 5.4 million euro). The EBIT takes account of impairment of fixed assets amounting to 5.7 million euro in 2008. The net loss reached - 22.4 million euro, following a net profit of 4.4 million euro in the previous year. Undiluted earnings per share is correspondingly - 0.60 euro, following 0.12 euro in the previous year. At - 19.2 million euro (previous year: - 7.0 million euro), operational cash flow was again clearly in the negative in the financial year. Total equity was burdened by the net loss for the year and various small effects.

The capital-to-assets ratio fell to 29.8% (previous year: 38.3%). Liquid assets less short-term financial liabilities at the end of the reporting year was - 15.3 million euro (previous year: 30.6 million euro). This situation, and the imminent due date for the payment of interest, made it clear in the first quarter of the new business year 2009 that BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG could only achieve future success by means of financial restructuring.

Financial restructuring successfully completed

The capital market was informed on 16 February 2009 of preparations for the financial restructuring of the BIOPETROL group, and its successful conclusion was reported on 22 April 2009. The equity capital base was considerably strengthened, costs reduced and the liquidity of the BIOPETROL group increased by means of a package of staffing, organizational and contractual measures.

In times of persisting political and economic uncertainty for the fuels markets, the necessary prerequisites for a successful continuation of the BIOPETROL group have thus been fulfilled. The financial commitment of the majority shareholder in particular is stabilizing the company in the market, giving clients and suppliers the necessary confidence to encourage a long-lasting and stable business relationships. Nevertheless, our demand remains that politicians finally grant the biofuels industry dependable underlying conditions and that these should remain constant for a reasonable period.


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. Thus the annual capacity will 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.