R&D expenses incurred in the alternative energy segment during the six months ended June 30, 2012 were $9.1 million, compared to $14.4 million for the comparable period in the prior year. The decrease in R&D expenses resulted primarily from a decrease in costs related to the Rentech-ClearFuels gasifier of approximately $5.8 million, which was partially offset by a decrease in reimbursements of costs related to the gasifier from the DOE of approximately $1.6 million.
Average sales price per ton for Rentech Nitrogen’s primary products, ammonia and UAN, increased 9% and 25%, respectively, over the same period last year. Higher product prices were partially offset by decreased sales volume for UAN as described above.
Gross profit margin was 63% for the six months ended June 30, 2012, up from 48% for the comparable period in the prior year.
OutlookRentech previously issued guidance of cash operating and capital expenses to be slightly higher than $42-$44 million for the twelve months ending September 30, 2012. This guidance also applies to the calendar year 2012. Included in the 2012 guidance are costs to conclude the Integrated Biorefinergy Refinery Project at the Company’s demonstration facility at the end of the year. The project, which began in December 2009, is estimated to cost a total of $45 million upon conclusion, approximately $23 million of which will have been reimbursed by the DOE. For 2013, Rentech continues to expect R&D expenses to be less than $10 million. In its press release dated August 10, 2012, Rentech Nitrogen increased its guidance for the twelve months ending December 31, 2012. Cash Distributions from Rentech Nitrogen Rentech Nitrogen declared its second quarter cash distribution of $1.17 per unit, payable on August 14, 2012 to unit holders of record as of August 7. Rentech will receive approximately $27.2 million, based on its ownership of 23.25 million units of Rentech Nitrogen as of the record date.