Neste released fourth quarter financial results on Feb. 5, reporting that its renewable products segment proved to be very resilient despite the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with increased sales volumes and strong sales margins.
Peter Vanacker, president and CEO of Neste, said the company’s renewable products segment posted a solid full-year comparable operating profit of EUR 1.334 billion, down from EUR 1.599 billion in 2019. Renewable diesel demand remained good during the pandemic, he said, but feedstock markets tightened during the year. Despite higher feedstock costs, he said Neste was able to maintain its comparable sales margin at a very high level, averaging $703 per ton.
Neste’s renewable products division sold approximately 2.97 million metric tons in 2020, up 4 percent from 2019. Vanacker said the increase was enabled by a new annual production record. Nameplate capacity for renewables increased from 3 million metric tons per year to 3.2 million metric tons per year during the second quarter of 2020. He also noted that the share of waste and residues used for feedstock averaged 83 percent of total renewable material inputs last year.
Vanacker also discussed Neste’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) capacity, which is currently at 100,000 tons per year. The company plans to boost its SAF production capacity to 1.5 million metric tons per year by the end of 2023.
Moving into 2021, Neste expects sales volumes for renewable diesel in the first quarter to remain flat when compared to the same period of last year. Waste and residue markets are expected to remain tight.
For the fourth quarter, Neste reported revenue of EUR 3.028 billion, down from EUR 4.053 billion during the same period of 2019. Renewable products’ comparable operating profit was EUR 338 million, down from EUR 671 million. Operating project was EUR -2 million, down from EUR 1.046 billion. Net profit was EUR 6 million, down from EUR 934 million, with comparable earning ser share at EUR 0.44, down from EUR 0.92, and earning per share at EUR 0.01, down from EUR 1.22.
For the full year 2020, Neste reported revenue of EUR 11.751 billion, down from EUR 15.84 billion in 2019. Renewable products’ comparable operating profit was EUR 1.334 billion, down from EUR 1.599 billion. Operating profit was at EUR 828 million, down from EUR 2.229 billion. Net profit was EUR 714 million, down from EUR 1.789 billion. Comparable earnings per share were at EUR 1.6, down from EUR 2.04, with earnings per share at EUR 0.93, down from EUR 2.33.
Source: Biomass Magazine, 2021-02-09.