Ceres issues Q3 financial results, Brazilian update

By Erin Voegele | July 18, 2013

Ceres Inc. has announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013, reporting revenues of $1.4 million for the quarter. This is an increase when compared to the $1.1 million reported for the same period of last year. As part of the announcement, Ceres also provided an update on its Brazil operations, which it referred to as its “largest immediate commercial opportunity.”

According to information released by Ceres, customer reports have indicated its sweet sorghum hybrids have out-yielded competing products in the most recent season in several locations were side-by-side comparisons were available. Furthermore, Brazilian mills that report results experienced ethanol yields from Ceres products that ranged from 450 to 3,600 liters per hectare, with mills representing the top 20 percent of yields achieving 2,100 to 3,300 per hectare. The high-yielding mills generally followed established crop management practices, said Ceres in a release.

In a call to discuss the quarterly results, Richard Hamilton, president and CEO of Ceres, also noted that a number of Brazilian mills also took a closer look at the combustion of properties of sorghum biomass for power production during the quarter. “These biomass customers indicated that our sorghum biomass performed well in their industrial boilers and they are generally pleased with the results,” he said.

Within its financial results, Ceres said it has completed field trials required to register more than 10 new sweet sorghum hybrids with the Brazilian government. Ceres plans to begin commercial evaluations of the first of these products during the upcoming growing season. In addition, the company has plans to evaluate hundreds of additional pre-commercial and experimental hybrids in Brazil next season.

During his presentation, Hamilton also addressed biomass crops under development for the biopower market in Europe. “We have advanced new experimental seeded varieties of the biomass crop called miscanthus and are conducting initial field evaluations with two leading power companies in the U.K. and Europe via our germplasm partner in the U.K. and an industry consortium,” he said. In addition, Hamilton noted there are positive signs of activity in the biomass-to-biofuels industry, with cellulosic refineries being built and operated in the U.S. and Europe.

Regarding financial results, Ceres posted nearly $1.36 million in total revenues for the quarter, including $389,000 from product sales. During the same period of last year, the company reported $1.15 million in total revenue, with $42,000 of that resulting from product sales. Ceres has reported a net loss of $9.32 million for the quarter, compared to an $8.42 million net loss during the third quarter of fiscal year 2012.