PresseBox
Pressemitteilung BoxID: 332234 (BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG)
  • BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG
  • Baarerstraße 53 / 55
  • 6304 Zug
  • http://www.biopetrol-ind.com
  • Ansprechpartner
  • Gerd Rückel
  • +49 (69) 5770300-31

BIOPETROL achieves turnaround in earnings in the 2nd half of 2009

(PresseBox) (Zug, ) .
- Annual loss contained - 2nd half positive
- High operational cash flow
- Post financial restructuring equity ratio above 50 %
- New majority shareholder Glencore strengthens growth strategy

After the successful financial restructuring in the spring of last year, the BIOPETROL Group returned to profit in the 2nd half of 2009. The annual loss in the year under review was therefore significantly contained to KEUR -9,367 (previous year KEUR -22,365). In a market environment which remains difficult for biofuels, 2009 witnessed the operational, financial and balance sheet restructuring of the company. Due to the buying back of the convertible bond, the partial forgoing of interest and the provision of a credit line by the majority shareholders, BIOPETROL's competitiveness was ensured and a solid foundation for the future development of the business was laid.

Defensive market strategy in the financial year 2009

Sales excluding energy tax were, at KEUR 127,390, 57 % below the previous year's level as the necessary reduction of working capital initially did not allow the growth strategy to continue. Uncertainty in particular in the German market, the reduction of the overall quota from 6.25 % to 5.25 % in the middle of the year, the taxation of B100 and the impending sustainability requirements resulted in considerable restraint among customers.

Losses contained - stable balance sheet

The EBIT was still negative in the year under review at KEUR -10,081 (previous year KEUR -20.843); however after a loss of KEUR -13,757 in the 1st half of the year, a profit of KEUR 3,676 was achieved in the 2nd half. The EBITDA was KEUR -6,737(previous year KEUR -11,787) and earnings per share (undiluted) were EUR -0.21(previous year EUR -0.60). Due to the tight management of working capital, the operational cash flow rose to KEUR 15,023 (previous year KEUR -19,158). As a result of the financial restructuring, the Group's equity rose by 40.0 % to KEUR 77,155, after KEUR 55,106 the previous year. The equity ratio rose accordingly to 50.7 % (previous year 29.8 %). The average number of employees fell to 138 (previous year 157).

New majority shareholder strengthens growth strategy

On 29 December 2010 Glencore became the majority shareholder of BIOPETROL INDUSTRIES AG with effect of 1 January 2010 by acquiring 50 % plus one share. The shares came from the holding of the former majority shareholder. GLENCORE also has the option of raising its participation to a twothirds majority. These shares would also come from the holding of the former majority shareholder. Together with the financially strong and globally active trading platform of Glencore, the conditions have been created to fully utilise in the medium term BIOPETROL's modern production locations, which have an excellent logistical position. In this respect the first of two biodiesel plants successfully commenced operations in Rotterdam on 25 January.

Management changes

At operational level Mr. Maarten Roelfs, previously responsible for business development, finance and trade at Glencore Grain Division, will take over the duties of Mr. Gordon Mehrtens as new CFO at BIOPETROL with effect of 23 March 2010. BIOPETROL thanks Mr. Gordon Mehrtens for his excellent work which has contributed significantly towards ensuring the continued existence of the BIOPETROL Group and creating the conditions to exploit future business opportunities.

Market outlook for 2010 cautious

Due to the extreme weather conditions in January and February, sales of petrol and diesel were very low in Europe. Many customers, in particular potential B100 customers in Germany, are also still worried about what is going to happen next with biodiesel. Here German politicians are challenged to create stable longterm conditions by reducing the B100 tax and by raising the overall quota.

There are though also very positive signs in the biodiesel market. These include the import duties on B99 from the USA and the introduction of a blending quota in Argentina, therefore reducing the amount subsidised cheap imports into Europe. If more refineries have to be closed due to a fall in demand, parts of the mineral oil industry believe there may even be a shortage of mineral diesel. In that case biodiesel from the capacity available in the biodiesel industry is the obvious answer to safeguard the rising demand for diesel in Europe. Biopetrol expects that the consolidation process in the biodiesel industry will speed up in 2010 and is well prepared for this.

The full annual financial statements 2009 have been published in German and English on the company's website www.biopetrol-ind.com.

About Glencore:

The Glencore Group of Companies ("Glencore") is one of the world's largest suppliers of commodities and raw materials to industrial consumers. Customers around the world, in industries such as automotive, power generation, steel production and food processing, rely upon Glencore's established global network of operations as a source of Metals and Minerals, Crude Oil and Oil Products, Cl and Agricultural Products. These commodities originate either from Glencore's owned production assets, are secured from third parties, or benefit from the refining, processing or marketing expertise of Glencore. The Group also provides financing, logistics and other supply chain services to producers and consumers of commodities.

Glencore, founded in 1974, is a privately held Group owned by its management and employees. Headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, Glencore employs over 2,000 people in its global marketing operations in some 50 offices in over 40 countries. In its industrial operations, Glencore employs over 50,000 people at 15 plants in 13 countries. Additionally, Glencore has interests in various publicly listed companies including 34.4% in Xstrata, 44% economic (39% voting) in Century Aluminum, 70.6% in Minaral Resources, 69.2% in Katanga Mining, 8.7% an UCR and 32.2% in Recylex.

Disclaimer

This press release represents neither an offer for sale nor a request for the submission of an offer to purchase or subscribe to securities. This announcement and the information contained therein are not intended to be directly or indirectly passed on to or within the United States of America, Canada, Australia or Japan.

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 pharmaceuticalgrade glycerine of the highest quality. Among our customers are the oil industry and oil traders, largescale fleet operators, public shortdistance transport, as well as the agricultural and construction industries. The pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries are in addition supplied with glycerine 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 pharmaceuticalgrade glycerine. In Rotterdam, BIOPETROL has an installation with an annual productive capacity of 400,000 tonnes of biodiesel and 60,000 tonnes of glycerine. 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 glycerine.