Third Quarter 2008 sales: strong growth in all regions
Basel, Switzerland, Sales in the third quarter of 2008 increased by 28 percent at constant exchange rates (CER). Reported sales were 33 percent higher at $2.3 billion. In the first nine months of the year sales were up 22 percent (CER) to $9.6 billion.
In Crop Protection third quarter sales were 26 percent higher (CER), with volume growth of 12 percent and price realization, including glyphosate, ahead of target at 14 percent. In NAFTA, the growth rate increased significantly driven by the expansion of the corn fungicide market and strong herbicide demand. In Latin America there was a good start to the season with a further acreage increase and ongoing investment in both soybean and corn. Europe saw sustained growth in herbicides and seed care; sales in Eastern Europe were almost 50 percent higher reflecting the drive to increase productivity. Asia Pacific saw growth across the emerging markets and improved trading in Australia.
Growth by product line was broad-based. The most notable performances were from non-selective herbicides, led by price gains in TOUCHDOWN®; fungicides, with strong demand for AMISTAR® in the USA and Brazil; and seed care, where technology adoption continues in both developed and emerging markets, led by CRUISER®. Combined sales of new products, defined as those launched since 2006, reached $242 million in the first nine months (+87 percent). The largest contribution came from the cereal herbicide AXIAL®, with good progress also in REVUS® and the successful launch of DURIVO®.
Seeds sales increased by 41 percent (CER) in the quarter. Sales of corn and soybean more than doubled, with lower returns in the USA and excellent growth in Brazil, where both crops benefited from expanding demand and an enhanced offer.
All regions showed strong growth in vegetables with emerging markets, notably Asia, playing an increasingly important role.
Mike Mack, CEO, said: “The sales figures we have presented today attest to the strength of our business in a turbulent global environment. The fundamental drivers for agriculture remain unchanged, with rising food and feed demand inevitably requiring increased use of agricultural technology in a context of limited land availability. Our confidence in Syngenta’s near term as well as its longer term performance allows us to reaffirm our target for earnings per share* growth of more than 35 percent in 2008 and high teens in 2009.”
* Fully diluted, excluding 2007 non-recurring income, restructuring, impairment and share repurchase program.
Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2007 were approximately $9.2 billion. Syngenta employs over 21,000 people in more than 90 countries. Syngenta is listed on the Swiss stock exchange (SYNN) and in New York (SYT). Further information is available at www.syngenta.com.
This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta’s publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefore.
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