Fiscal year 2016/17
CropEnergies Group is responsible for the bioethanol business in Germany, Belgium, France and Great Britain. The company is a leading producer of sustainably produced bioethanol in Europe and has a total annual production capacity of 1.3 million m³ of bioethanol and over one million tonnes of high-protein food and animal feed. CropEnergies also holds a 50 % interest in CT Biocarbonic GmbH, which operates a food-grade CO2 liquification plant in Zeitz with an annual production capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
CropEnergies was again able to improve its results from operations in fiscal 2016/17. Production and sales volumes were significantly higher than the year prior. The restart of the production plant in Wilton, Great Britain, in July 2016 was a major contributing factor. Lower raw material prices also had a positive impact on the results from operations. In contrast, despite a favorable ethanol price trend in the final quarter, selling prices realized were mostly lower than last year.
Key figures for the CropEnergies segment
Revenues and operating result
The CropEnergies segment's revenues rose year-over-year to € 726 (658) million, driven mainly by higher bioethanol production volumes, as well as food and animal feed, as a result of the restart of the plant in Wilton. This more than offset the reduced trading volumes due to higher in-house production and lower ethanol sales revenues.
The division’s operating result again improved considerably despite declining ethanol sales revenues, beating last year's unusually strong result and hitting a record of € 98 (87) million. Key drivers were sharply higher production and sales volumes and declining net raw material and energy costs.
Result of restructuring and special items
The result of restructuring and special items of € -4 (-18) million was in part for expenses from spirits tax risks in Germany in connection with ethanol sales. It also contains the fixed costs related to the outage at the bioethanol factory at the Wilton site prior to the restart in July 2016, and income from the reversal of the balance of shutdown-related accruals required to fulfill contractual obligations. Last year, the fixed costs for the outage were included for the entire fiscal year.
Capital employed and return on capital employed (ROCE)
Capital employed at € 479 (490) million was slightly less than last year. Write-downs were significantly higher than investments, which offset increased working capital. The improved operating result of € 98 (87) million drove ROCE to 20.4 (17.7) %.
Investments totaled € 16 (17) million. In addition to replacement investments, especially noteworthy investments were those aimed at improving the efficiencies of the production plants, among other things to keep the plants running longer between maintenance intervals, and expanding the capacity at the gluten production site in Wanze, Belgium.