Source: Syngenta news release
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*Sales $13.5 billion (2017 $12.6 billion): 7 percent higher, up 9 percent adjusted for sugar beet and mandated crop protection antitrust divestments
*Crop Protection sales up 7 percent, 8 percent excluding divestments
*Seeds sales up 6 percent, 10 percent excluding sugar beet divestmentFlowers sales up 7 percent
*Productivity gains offset raw material and oil price headwinds
*EBITDA $2.6 billion: flat against 2017 adjusted for US litigation settlement, 4 percent higher excluding divestments
*Free cash flow before acquisitions, ChemChina transaction outflow and US litigation settlement $1.76 billion (2017 $1.68 billion)
Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, said:
“The company delivered solid underlying sales growth of 9 percent compared to 2017, in a tough year where difficult weather conditions, currency and supply chain headwinds presented substantial operational challenges. It is a pleasing result maintaining profitability and record free cash flow of $1.76 billion. Our strong focus on customers, delivering greater innovation, and ongoing commitment to productivity improvement enabled solid top- and bottom-line growth.
Our Seeds business continues to improve its performance, while the integration of the Nidera™ and Abbott & Cobb™ businesses has progressed well. The acquisition of FarmShots™ and Strider® has improved digital capability and capacity.
Farmer profitability continues to decline in most countries and ongoing regulatory pressure in the European Union is affecting growers’ access to technologies. We expect that market conditions will remain challenging in 2019 and difficult farm economics will continue to weigh on sector growth, which is likely to remain at low single digit levels.
We will continue to improve productivity and focus on serving our customers through technology and services that meet their growing needs. Within this environment, we are confident that the trajectory of solid growth can be maintained.”
In North America, Crop Protection sales were up 2 percent against 2017, driven by new product sales including TRIVAPRO. Grower and channel partner adoption of digital solutions including AGRIEDGE EXCELSIOR has continued to strengthen.
Seeds sales were 3 percent lower as a result of softer demand across the sector with fewer corn and soy acres planted.