BioAmber reports increased biosuccinic acid sales

By Erin Voegele | August 12, 2016

BioAmber Inc. recently released second quarter financial results, reporting the company is continuing to ramp up operations at its Sarnia, Ontario, biosuccinic acid plant. Sales of biosuccinic acid significantly increased during the quarter.

“BioAmber continues to meet ramp-up expectations at its Sarnia plant. We have made excellent progress in the plant's reliability and performance, while continuing to increase production levels and drive down unit costs,” said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber.   “Second quarter sales were on track, generating a 73 percent increase in sales over Q1, while Q2 operations improved throughout the quarter, culminating in a June uptime rate of over 80 percent.  The team is now entrenching its operating routines as our Sarnia facility moves towards full production levels.”

According to BioAmber, sales of biosuccinic acid reached $2.5 million during the quarter, up 73 percent compared to the first quarter of the year, and up 637 percent compared to the second quarter of 2015. The cost per ton of biosuccinic acid sold dropped 30 percent when compared to the previous quarter. In addition, the Sarnia plant achieved an update rate of more than 80 percent in June and less than 7 percent of the biosuccinic acid produced during the second quarter was off-spec, compared to 37 percent during the previous quarter.

During an investor call, Huc stressed that the company had a very good quarter, noting BioAmber met its revenue target. He noted that performance at the Sarnia facility continued to improve and the company has experienced increased interest from potential strategic partners who could help accelerate future growth. Regarding customers, he indicated BioAmber’s customer base has continued to broaden and the company is seeing the continued emergence of new applications for its biosuccinic acid, such as the use of succinic acid as an additive in PET plastic.

While the company currently pays a fee to dispose of coproducts, Huc said BioAmber is currently in the process of obtaining regulatory approvals to sell those coproducts into the animal feed industry.

A 10-day shut down for scheduled maintenance is planned for August. Improvements made to specific pieces of equipment during the shutdown are expected to increase plant performance and reliability for the remainder of the year.

BioAmber reported revenues of $2.5 million for the second quarter, up 73 percent when compared to the first quarter. The company attributed the increase entirely to volume growth, with no material change in the average selling price.

Gross loss for the quarter was $1 million, compared to $410,000 during the same period last year and $1.6 million for the first quarter of 2016. The decrease in gross loss was attributed to greater volumes of succinic acid produced and sold, improvements in operational efficiency and a reduction in the quantity of off-spec product produced.

Net income attributable to BioAmber shareholders was $4.8 million, or 17 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $14 million, or 58 cents per share, for the same period of last year. Adjusted net loss attributable to BioAmber shareholders was $7.1 million, or 25 cents per share, compared to an adjusted net loss of $9.5 million, or 39 cents per share, for the same period of last year.