VeraSun reports strong first-quarter earnings

By Bryan Sims | May 09, 2008
Web exclusive posted May 13, 2008 at 2:22 p.m. CST

VeraSun Energy Corp. , one of the nation's largest ethanol producers, posted a 257 percent increase in revenues to $516.5 million and its net income increased to $7.6 million, versus a net loss of $0.3 million for the same three months ended March 31, 2007.

Total revenues, which include income from the sale of ethanol, distillers grains and its marketed ethanol brand VE85, increased by $372 million, or 257 percent, compared to $144.5 million for the same three month period a year ago. The increase in total revenues was primarily the result of a 223.5 percent increase in ethanol volume sold and an increase in average ethanol prices of 20 cents per gallon, or 10.2 percent, versus 2007.

The Brookings, S.D.-based company sold 191.7 million gallons of ethanol, which included 49.5 million gallons of ethanol that were purchased from other entities and resold to their customers. Ethanol production increased by 82.4 million gallons, or 138.6 percent, as a result of the additional capacity from VeraSun's Charles City, Iowa, facility which went on line April 2007, its Linden, Ind., facility which began producing in August 2007 and its Albion, Neb., plant which went online October 2007.

"VeraSun continues to execute on its long-term growth strategy with significantly higher production, resulting in increased revenues and earnings," VeraSun Chief Executive Officer Don Endres said. "Our team also successfully commissioned our production facility at Bloomingburg, Ohio, during the quarter, adding another 11 million gallons of production capacity."

Effective April 1, VeraSun completed its merger with U.S. BioEnergy, giving the company 11 operating facilities with a combined ethanol production capacity of approximately 1 billion gallons. Five additional plants are under construction with a combined capacity of 550 million gallons. Upon completion of the new facilities which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, VeraSun expects to have an annual production capacity of approximately 1.64 billion gallons.