– Revenue increases 14% compared to the first quarter of 2012 – – Gross profit of $846,000, up from a gross loss of $7.5 million in the first quarter of 2012 – – Adjusted EBITDA improves by $2.9 million over the first quarter of 2012 – SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (Nasdaq:PEIX), the leading marketer and producer of low-carbon renewable fuels in the Western United States, reported its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2013. "We are pleased with our first quarter 2013 results as they reflect several key improvements," stated Neil Koehler, the company's president and CEO. "Higher ethanol prices and more favorable market conditions in the second half of the quarter drove significant increases in both revenue and gross profit in the first quarter as compared to the prior year's period. When combined with the beneficial impact of our increased plant ownership in the first quarter and our continued efforts to control expenses, these factors resulted in a positive adjusted EBITDA. We are optimistic about the second quarter as April production margins demonstrated an even more material improvement, especially when compared to the historic lows experienced in 2012." Financial Results for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2013 Net sales were $225.5 million for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $197.7 million for the first quarter of 2012. The increase in net sales is primarily attributable to a higher average price per gallon of ethanol sold. The average price per gallon of ethanol sold was $2.60 for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $2.34 in the first quarter of 2012. Gross profit was $0.8 million for the first quarter of 2013, compared to gross loss of $7.5 million in the first quarter of 2012. The $8.3 million increase is attributable to improved commodity margins.