Pacific Ethanol Inc's (NASDAQ:PEIX) net loss widened to USD 13.5 million (EUR 11.8m) in the first quarter of 2016 from USD 4.7 million a year earlier in spite of a jump in sales.
The US company, however, moved to positive adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of USD 1.6 million from negative USD 2.7 million in the first quarter of 2015, its results showed Wednesday.
President and chief executive Neil Koehler said that seasonal patterns in supply and demand had created a challenging market environment but added that current ethanol production margins had improved over the first quarter levels as both production and inventory had moderated in the face of growing ethanol demand. He also highlighted the repayment of USD 17 million of term debt in the first quarter which has made the company's four Western ethanol plants debt free.
Net sales in the first three months of the year rose 66% to USD 342.4 million. Pacific Ethanol, which added four ethanol plants in July 2015 and now has a total of eight, sold 206.6 million gallons (782.1 million litres) of ethanol in the period, compared to 135.7 million gallons in the same quarter of 2015. Sales included 112.9 million gallons of own production and 93.7 million gallons of third-party ethanol. The average price per gallon declined to USD 1.53 from USD 1.65 a year ago.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.877)
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