Biodiesel exports increase Verbio’s profit

Germany-based biofuel producer Verbio has reported higher profits with the aid of growing biodiesel exports, but made losses on bioethanol.

‘About 40% of biodiesel production was exported, largely to east Europe,’ the company says, adding that Germany's increased taxes on biofuels resulted in a large cut in sales by all producers inside Germany.

It estimated sales by all producers of biodiesel in Germany's petrol station market were down by 43% on the year in January to July 2008.

Germany's consumption of biodiesel for compulsory blending with fossil fuels in oil refineries increased by 26% in the first seven months of 2008.

Verbio raised biodiesel output in the nine months to 30 September 2008 to 300,663 tonnes from 261,403 tonnes in the same 2007 period.

Germany's 4.2 million tonnes annual capacity biodiesel industry will only produce about 2.6 million tonnes in 2008, Verbio estimates.

Verbio recorded after-tax profits of €9.55 million in the nine months to 30 September compared to an after tax loss of €645,000 in the same 2007 period. Nine-month sales rose to €498 million from €311 million. It posted nine-month operating profit from its biodiesel sector including commodity trades of €16.4 million from €9.1 million profit the same time in 2007.

Both Verbio's bioethanol plants are now back in production after shutdowns in the past year, it said.

Verbio made a nine-month loss in its bioethanol sector of €1.5 million including grain and other commodity sales against a €10.7 million loss the same time last year.

Verbio produced 88,390 tonnes of bioethanol in the first nine months of 2008, down from 110,302 tonnes in the same 2007-period.

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