Verenium reports strong first-quarter earnings

By Bryan Sims | April 08, 2008
Web exclusive posted May 8, 2008 at 4:15 p.m. CST

Cambridge, Mass.-based Verenium Corp., a pioneer in the development of cellulosic ethanol production and high-performance specialty chemicals, posted total revenues of $15.2 million for the first quarter of 2008, compared with $11.3 million the same quarter a year ago.

The company said "the increase in total revenue resulted from solid growth in product revenue, offset in part by a decrease in collaborative and grant revenue, consistent with earlier guidance provided by the company."

With a sharpened focus on commercial growth, the specialty business unit made progress in the first quarter, reporting $11.2 million in product revenue for the quarter. According to Verenium, the increase in product revenue was primarily due to increased sales of Physyme XP by Danisco Animal Nutrition, which continues to expand its global phytase market share position in the animal feed industry. Physyme is the Verenium's patented enzyme that enables pigs and poultry to digest phosphorus more efficiently in their diets.

Verenium's biofuels business has also made significant strides as it continues to achieve its corporate objective with the transition to the start-up phase of its 1.4 MMgy demonstration cellulosic ethanol production facility in Jennings, La. According to the company, the plant is well into the start-up process and is expected to begin a comprehensive commissioning phase by the end of the second quarter this year. During the commissioning phase, the process design will be evaluated at scale, ethanol will be produced and cost assumptions will be further evaluated, Verenium said.

"We are at a transformational time for both the next generation biofuels industry and Verenium as the world is now actively seeking alternative sources of ethanol, particularly those derived from cellulosic biomass," said Carlos Riva, president and chief executive officer of Verenium. "We believe Verenium is leading the race to commercialize next generation ethanol as we refine our process at scale in the nation's first demonstration-scale plant and rapidly advance pre-commercialization efforts with the potential partners at various points along the value chain."

To learn more about Verenium, visit www.verenium.com/index.html.