High food prices push Syngenta H1 profits up 14 percent

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World agrochemicals leader Syngenta said Friday its first half net profits rose 14 percent year-on-year to $1.4 billion, buoyed by high food prices.

"In the first half of 2011, growers in the Northern hemisphere faced familiar challenges, with unfavorable weather and volatile crop prices," Mike Mack, Syngenta chief executive said in the company's earnings report.

"However, tight grain supply in a context of growing demand meant that the overall level of crop prices was high," he said.

Total sales of the Swiss company during the first six months of 2011 reached $7.7 billion, up 14 percent compared to 2010, with crop protection sales rising 10 percent to $5.6 billion, and seed sales rising 17 percent to $2.1 billion.

"As we enter the second half of the year, a positive outlook for the main Latin American season starting in September is underpinned by favorable fundamentals," Mack said.

"We also expect further expansion in Asia Pacific and look forward to continuing strong growth in volumes with further gains in market share across the business.

"In addition, the outlook for pricing for the rest of the year is positive and we expect stable pricing for the full year."

© 2011 AFP

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