Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy LLC (SIRE) on Wednesday reported a jump in net profit to USD 5.6 million (EUR 5.3m) for its first fiscal quarter through December 2016 from USD 1.1 million a year ago.

The profits gain was achieved in spite of a slight decline in revenues year-over-year to USD 52.1 million and came as the company enjoyed "very favorable margins" in the quarter.

President and chief executive Brian Cahill, however, said that US ethanol margins have been very volatile towards the end of 2016. According to him, margins will likely remain positive but are becoming more dependent on continued good export demand.

SIRE, which operates a 125-million-gallon (473 million litre)-per-year ethanol plant in Iowa, produced 29.9 million gallons of ethanol in the latest quarter, compared to 29.1 million gallons a year ago.