Fiscal year 2017/18
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.
In fiscal 2017/18, CropEnergies was able to further expand its position as the leading producer of sustainably produced ethanol in Europe, despite a market environment marked by volatile ethanol prices. CropEnergies was again able to improve production and sales volumes significantly in comparison to the year prior. The restart of the production plant in Wilton/Great Britain in July 2016 was a major contributing factor. In addition, the segment was able to operate all of its plants at high loads, except for maintenance works.
Key figures for the CropEnergies segment
Revenues and operating result
Despite a decline in the fourth quarter due to significantly lower ethanol sales revenues than during the same period last year, CropEnergies was able to boost revenues to € 808 (726) million in fiscal 2017/18 just ended, driven especially by significantly higher production and sales volumes during the first half year due to the restart of the production plant in Wilton in the second quarter of 2016/17.
The severe decline in ethanol prices drove CropEnergies’ fourth quarter operating result sharply lower than the unusually high number posted the year prior, which led to a significantly lower result of € 72 (98) million for the full fiscal 2017/18 period. The improved results from higher volumes and revenues were not enough to offset higher net raw material costs and the now full-year operating costs of the plant in Wilton, together with maintenance work and inspections at all production plants.
Capital employed and return on capital employed (ROCE)
Capital employed came in at € 452 (479) million, lower than last year because investments were lower than write-downs. ROCE fell to 15.9 (20.4) %, driven by the lower operating result of € 72 (98) million.
Investments totaling € 20 (16) million were for technical systems replacements such as the rectification column in Wanze, Belgium, but especially to improve production plant efficiencies, among other things by preparing for raw material flexibility in Zeitz, Germany, expanding gluten production in Wanze, Belgium and other projects at the Wilton site.