The return to full production at the Ensus wheat to bioethanol factory on Teesside, together with higher product prices, has lifted profitability at parent CropEnergies, part of the Sudzucker Group.

A Q1 trading update ahead of full figures in mid July, shows a 21% increase in operating profit in the March-May quarter to €23.5 million on revenues that grew by 38% to €231m, compared to the €19.4m and €168m in Q1 2016.

 The company says high Q1 utilization of all its production facilities lifted the figures, particularly since the Ensus facility at Wilton was still in temporary shutdown a year earlier. In addition, the realised bioethanol prices were higher than those budgeted for the quarter.

CropEnergies has raised its full year 2017/18 revenue forecast to €850 – €900m from the earlier €800 – €875m, with the operating profit revised to €50 -€90m from the original €40 – €80m.