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2/7/2013 11:28:07 AM

Non-Ethanol Income Aids Green Plains Renewable Energy


Emily Nohr, The Omaha World Herald

Feb. 7, 2013 — Green Plains Renewable Energy reported a decline in net income for 2012 overall, despite a bump in net income for its final quarter of the year.

Growth in non-ethanol operating income — including the sale of 12 grain elevators — cushioned lower income from ethanol.

Net income for 2012 for the Omaha-based ethanol producer was $11.8 million, or 39 cents per diluted share, down from $38.4 million, or $1.01 per diluted share, in 2011. The company’s 2012 revenue was $3.5 billion for the year, down from $3.6 billion.

In the fourth quarter, net income was $33 million, or $0.94 per diluted share, up from $13.3 million, or $0.36 per diluted share, this time last year. Revenue was $883.7 million for the fourth quarter, down from $922.8 million.

Without the sale of 12 grain elevators in Iowa and Tennessee, the company's fourth-quarter net income was $6.7 million, or 21 cents per diluted share.

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President and CEO Todd Becker said in a statement that all the company's business segments reported positive operating income during both the fourth quarter and last half of 2012, which he said signaled the effectiveness of the company’s low-cost platform and ability to manage risk.

"For the fourth year in a row," he said, "our business was profitable and, with the sale of the 12 grain elevators, we continue to focus on creating value for our shareholders. We ended 2012 with $280 million in cash and the lowest ethanol plant debt in our history.

"This positions us for the future to take advantage of growth and diversification opportunities and to continue to withstand the cyclicality of our business."

Becker said the company plans to add between 5 million and 10 million bushels per year over the next two years to the grain storage capacity around its ethanol plants.

That strategy will allow the company to use its 7 million-ton ethanol processing capacity to aggressively compete for purchasing grain directly from farmers, he said. Becker said the plan would be a “minimal investment per bushel” and provide “solid long-term returns for our shareholders.”

 

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