The third-quarter earnings reports of bioplastics two publicly traded companies—Cereplast and Metabolix—highlight the huge potential of the market, as well as the hardships to be endured while production and product development ramp up. Cereplast Inc. (El Segundo, CA) posted record sales and gross profits in the third quarter, boosted by a 10-point increase in margins and the consummation of two large deals. Third quarter sales came in at $1.5 million, up more than 120% over the year-ago and sequential quarters, with gross profits climbing 267% year-over-year to $381,000. Gross margins improved to 25.2% from 15.2%, due in part to enhanced economics of the company's new production site in Indiana, which opened earlier this year.
The company signed a multi-million dollar supply agreement with Italian masterbatch manufacturer RI.ME. Masterbatch S.r.l. (Mozzate, Italy). It also secured a contract with Turkish firm Sezersan Ambalaj to produce bio-based twist-film packaging. In the earnings statement, Cereplast CEO, Frederic Scheer said that as a result of the deal with RI.ME., his company had started shipping approximately 200 tons of blown-film resin per month starting in September, with the expectation that shipments could reach 1000 tons/month before the third quarter of 2011....