The top officials of a southwestern North Dakota ethanol plant say it has overcome a year of financial struggles and is heading toward a profit.

A financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed Red Trail Energy LLC, of Richardton, lost $5.4 million last year. It cited lower demand nationwide.

The plant's chief executive officer, Gerald Bachmeier, says Red Trail produced 55 million gallons of ethanol last year. The chief financial officer, Mark Klimpel, says the plant showed a loss in the first half of this year but he expects a profit in the third quarter.

Bachmeier said it never got to the point where the plant stopped production.