DuPont Sees Strong Long-Term Growth, Margin Expansions for Agriculture & Nutrition Segment
Current Momentum in Seeds and Crop Protection Setting the Stage
NEW YORK, – DuPont expects to grow its Agriculture & Nutrition revenue by 8 to 10 percent through 2015 and increase pre-tax operating margins in the range of 19 to 21 percent in the same time period for the seed, crop protection and nutrition and health businesses, DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel told attendees of the Goldman Sachs Agricultural Biotech Forum today.
“The DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition segment delivered double-digit sales growth in 2010 while investing aggressively in research,” said Borel. “We gained market share, received 30 regulatory approvals in the seed business alone and advanced nine programs across our seed and crop protection pipelines.
“Our momentum is fueled by our relentless focus on innovation and meeting the needs of growers,” said Borel. “Our approach to the marketplace is allowing us to deliver on our commitment to increase global food productivity through innovative solutions.”
2011 Growth Expected From North America and International Seed Opportunities
Borel said the seed business expects to deliver growth in both North America and international seed opportunities. North America seed orders are the first indication of success against the goal and are on pace with growth targets, with the most recent classes of Pioneer® brand corn hybrids making up approximately 40 percent of 2011 volumes. Pioneer® brand Y Series soybeans continue to demonstrate strong performance, and 31 new varieties have been added for the 2011 product line-up.
The launch of Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 insect protection, the industry’s first in-the-bag corn rootworm refuge solution, will contribute to results in 2011. Grower demand for Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 products is strongly outpacing the 1 million unit launch target by about 20 percent. At this pace, Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 products are expected to be planted on about 3 million acres in its initial launch year.
New Crop Protection Products Driving Growth
Borel said the crop protection business continues to drive results through an increased focus on developing markets, growth in high-value fruit and vegetable crops, and delivering new innovations faster and more efficiently. This strategy has resulted in a more diverse product portfolio and new products accounting for one-quarter of sales in 2010. High-performance product DuPont™ Rynaxypyr® continues to have strong momentum in the marketplace.
“DuPont™ Rynaxypyr® insecticide posted 2010 sales approaching $400 million, and we’ve set a new peak sales estimate of half a billion dollars,” said Borel. “We are expanding the opportunity space for Rynaxypyr® while continuing to advance DuPont™ Cyazypyr™ and other new insect protection products. Overall we see a $1 billion opportunity for our insect offerings.”
Advancing Product Pipeline
“Both the seed and crop protection businesses are investing in powerful pipelines, innovating to meet our customers’ needs and provide them more options,” Borel said. “We continue to improve focus and speed by dynamically resourcing our pipelines.”
Borel said 2010 efforts reflect four program additions and nine advancements across the R&D pipelines.
The seed pipeline updated programs across corn, soybeans, canola and rice. Early phase programs such as drought and nitrogen use solutions were highlighted as well as programs such as Optimum® Intrasect™ insect protection, offering dual mode above-ground insect protection and reduced refuge requirements, which recently received U.S. and Canadian regulatory approvals. Optimum® Intrasect™ hybrids will be on wide-scale, on-farm demonstrations across North America in 2011, with sales expected for the 2012 growing season.
The crop protection business advanced two and added two new product concepts, including a new class for insect control. The pipeline extends into new areas of herbicides, with new weed control products for land management launching this year. 2011 crop protection sales will include at least four branded product offerings for land management.
Borel provided an overview of the research pipelines in his presentation, which is available on the DuPont Investor Center.
“As we look ahead to 2011 and beyond to 2015, we’re confident we’ll be able meet our targets by continuing to focus on innovation, execution and meeting the needs of growers,” Borel said.
DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
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