By Andrea Figueras
CropEnergies, the German renewable ethanol producer and part of the Suedzucker Group, has revised its targets for the fiscal year 2024 due to declining earnings caused by falling ethanol prices. The company now estimates revenue between EUR1.23 billion and EUR1.25 billion ($1.35 billion to $1.37 billion), down from the previous forecast of EUR1.24 billion to EUR1.30 billion. Operating profit is expected to be in the range of EUR40 million to EUR60 million, down from the previous estimate of EUR70 million to EU100 million. Furthermore, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization are expected to reach EUR85 million to EUR105 million, compared to the previous forecast of EUR115 million to EUR145 million.
The continuous drop in ethanol prices since November has caused CropEnergies significant concern. Prices have now fallen below EUR600 per cubic meter of ethanol, forcing the company to evaluate the potential challenge of maintaining current capacity utilization in the short term.
CropEnergies also released preliminary results for the third quarter ending on November 30. The company’s operating profit more than halved to EUR27 million compared to EUR56 million in the same period last year. Revenue declined to EUR312 million from EUR328 million, while Ebitda slid to EUR38 million from EUR66 million.
Adding to CropEnergies’ challenges, the company predicts increased volatility in sales, commodity, and energy markets, partially due to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.