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Green Plains' Q4 profit grows on tax benefit

Author: Perry McKenna. Licence: Creative Commons.

February 8 (Renewables Now) - US ethanol producer and commodities company Green Plains Inc (NASDAQ:GPRE) on Wednesday reported a net profit of USD 46.6 million (EUR 38.1m) for the fourth quarter of 2017, up from USD 18.7 million a year earlier.

The result includes USD 63.9 million in tax benefits, including a revaluation of deferred tax liabilities under the new US corporate tax laws. Excluding the revaluation, the company booked a net loss of USD 6.2 million.

Revenues declined to USD 921 million from USD 932.1 million, even as Green Plains produced a record 340.8 million gallons (1.29 billion litres) of ethanol during the quarter, up from 334.2 million gallons a year back. The consolidated ethanol crush margin dropped to USD 0.08 per gallon from USD 0.24 per gallon.

"Ethanol margins were weak in the fourth quarter as growth in export demand started to take hold and industry stocks remained high," said president and chief executive Todd Becker. He added that the company has responded by lowering its ethanol production rate in the first quarter. It expects margins to show improvement moving into the second quarter.

The company said its non-ethanol segments showed strong performance last year. "Looking forward, we will focus our growth capital in the Food and Ingredients segment and downstream terminal business through our investment and ownership in Green Plains Partners," said Becker.

In the full year, the company recorded a net profit USD 61.1 million, up from USD 10.7 million in 2016, on revenues that increased to USD 3.6 billion from USD 3.4 billion. Adjusted for items, the result was a net loss of USD 33.6 million.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.819)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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