http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-07-24/syngenta-profit-declines-on-cold-weather-late-crop-planting

Bloomberg News

Syngenta Profit Declines on Cold Weather, Late Crop Planting

July 24, 2013

Syngenta Profit Declines on Cold Weather, Late Crop Planting

A Syngenta AG sign stands in front of a field of soybeans with genetically modified strains outside of Campo Nueve, Paraguay. Photographer: Noah Friedman-Rudovsky/Bloomberg

Syngenta AG (SYNN), the world’s largest maker of crop chemicals, reported a decline in first-half profit after cold weather and late Northern hemisphere crop planting weighed on demand for fungicides.

Net income fell 5 percent to $1.41 billion, compared with an estimated $1.49 billion, based on the average of six analyst predictions collected by Bloomberg. Sales rose 2 percent to $8.4 billion. Excluding royalties for its 604 corn rootworm trait worth $256 million, booked in the year-earlier period, sales rose 7 percent.

“For the second half of the year we expect an acceleration of underlying sales growth based on the positive outlook for Latin America and Asia Pacific,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Mack said in a statement today.

Mack, who became chief of Basel-based Syngenta in 2008, wants to almost double sales to $25 billion by 2020, buoyed by a company-wide reorganization along crop lines and purchases of new technologies. Syngenta has stepped up acquisitions in the last year, using spare cash to buy listed hybrid-rice seed-maker Devgen for $523 million, U.S. based Sunfield Seeds Inc., and most recently announcing the purchase of Zambia-based MRI, a maker of white corn seed.

Syngenta shares have risen 5.4 percent this year, trailing gains at competitors Monsanto Co. (MON:US) and Dupont Co. (DD:US) which have risen 9.8 and 27 percent over the same period.

The maker of the Cruiser seed treatment and Dual II Magnum herbicide, formed in 2000 by the merger of Novartis AG (NOVN) and AstraZeneca PLC (AZN)’s agribusinesses, appointed Michel Demare, the former finance chief of Swiss engineer ABB Ltd. (ABBN), as Chairman earlier this year. Demare replaces Martin Taylor.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Winters in Zurich at pwinters3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Thiel at sthiel1@bloomberg.net


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