HAMBURG, GERMANY — As the first half of 2018 drew to a close, BayWa AG’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) amounted to €32.1 million, down compared to €72.8 million in the first half of 2017.

The company attributed the results due to that the majority of planned renewable energy plant sales will not be taking place until the second half of 2018, unlike last year, when the Group subsidiary BayWa r.e. renewable energy GmbH sold a huge number of wind farms and solar parks in the first half of 2017.

Revenue for the first half of 2018 ending on June 30, climbed to €8.3 billion, a slight uptick compared to €8 billion in same period last year.

In the first half of 2018, the Agriculture Segment was shaped by developments in its international trade activities with grain and oilseed (BAST) and in the Global Produce business unit.

Overall, the Agriculture Segment finished the first half of 2018 by slightly increasing its revenues year-on-year to €5.8 billion, with EBIT jumping to €52.4 million, up from €48.3 million in 2017.

“Difficult weather conditions in Germany, which had a negative impact on the domestic agricultural trade business in 2018: a long winter was followed by just a short vegetation phase, which was once again curbed by increasing heat and persistent drought,” said Klaus Josef Lutz, chief executive officer of BayWa AG. “The result was a decline in the operating resources business above all in northern and eastern Germany.”

“Together with ongoing pressure on margins in the agricultural produce trade, this had led to lower earnings year-on-year in the Agri Trade & Service business unit on June 30,” Lutz said. “By contrast, the international trade in oilseed and grain achieved a much better half-year result than in 2017, as in the soy business, for example, prices developed favorably due to factors such as the punitive tariffs imposed on U.S. soy by China.”