Germany's Verbio raises 2011 outlook as E10 fuel sales pick up

23 June 2011 20:05  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Verbio has raised its 2011 sales outlook as demand for 10%-bioethanol blended gasoline (E10) is beginning to increase, the Germany-based renewable fuels firm said on Thursday.

Germany’s drivers have been reluctant to accept E10, which was approved for sale at the country’s pumps on 1 January.

Verbio said its bioethanol sales were below expectations in the second quarter, forcing it to run plants at only about 50% of capacity.

However, more recently E10 sales have been rising, the company said.

“We expect to run our plants at full capacity in the third and fourth quarters, and to generate profitable margins,” Verbio said in a regulatory filing.

The company raised its full-year sales outlook to a range of €650m to €750m ($934m to $1.08bn), from its previous forecast of €550m to €600m.

However, Verbio said earnings before interest and tax would be lower than first expected – at €6m-12m, down from the previous forecast of €15m-20m.

Verbio reduced the profit forecast because of the sluggish E10 sales in the first half of 2011, it said.

In addition, Verbio took longer than expected to increase production at a biogas unit after start-up in March, meaning that it will sell less biogas than expected.

Going forward, Verbio expects to see strong biogas demand, partly as a result of Germany’s plan to exit nuclear power generation following March’s earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.

Earlier this week, Germany’s biofuels firm CropEnergies also raised its full-year sales forecast.

($1 = €0.69)

Check out Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals Blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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