Syngenta : First Quarter 2017: Full Year Targets Maintained

  • Sales 1 percent lower: currency effect neutral
  • Further momentum in Asia Pacific
  • Late start to season in Europe
  • Sales of new products more than doubled

BASEL, Switzerland--()--Group sales of $3.7 billion were 1 percent lower compared with the first quarter of 2016. Volumes were stable and pricing slightly lower. The more favourable currency trend which began in the second half of 2016 continued, with the Russian Ruble and the Brazilian Real strengthening against the dollar.

First quarter regional sales at CER1

Sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were unchanged despite a late start to the season in Northern and Central Europe, due to cold weather. This was offset by an excellent performance in South East Europe and ongoing growth in the CIS, as well as by solid growth in France due to the highly successful launch of ELATUS™ PLUS at the end of 2016.

In North America, a decline in Seeds sales was largely due to a timing difference in the receipt of trait royalties. Crop Protection sales showed robust growth driven by the ongoing success of TRIVAPRO™, based on SOLATENOL™.

In Latin America, sales were 3 percent lower. Dry weather in the second half of 2016, affecting the south of Brazil and Paraguay, reduced demand for fungicides and herbicides.

In Asia Pacific sales were up 4 percent. The main driver was ASEAN, with a continuing good corn seed performance. China grew based on the adoption of fungicides, notably AMISTAR®.

First quarter product line sales at CER1

Sales of Selective herbicides were primarily impacted by the late start to the season in Europe. In the USA, ACURON™ and DUAL GOLD® continued to expand despite competitive market conditions. Sales of Non-selective herbicides were also lower due to softness in glyphosate. Growth in Fungicides was driven by SOLATENOL™ based products in France, Germany and USA. This more than offset the impact of market weakness in Latin America. Insecticides sales were down due to lower sales in Northern Europe. Seedcare sales were slightly higher, with good performances by CRUISER® and FORTENZA® in Latin America.

Corn seed sales grew strongly in both Latin America and Asia Pacific. In North America corn sales were down due to trait royalty timing. Soybean sales were also slightly lower. Diverse field crops registered double digit growth driven primarily by sunflowers. Vegetables recorded growth in Europe and Latin America.

1 At constant exchange rates

Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“While conditions for growers at the start of 2017 remain difficult, our business is steady and currencies are no longer a drag on our performance. For the full year we maintain our targets of low single digit growth in sales, an improvement in the EBITDA margin and strong free cash flow generation.

In recent weeks the ChemChina transaction has made very significant progress, with the receipt of regulatory approvals including the European Union and the USA. We look forward to closing the transaction in May 2017.”

ChemChina transaction update

On April 13, ChemChina announced that the tender offers to purchase all publicly held shares and ADSs will end on May 4, 2017. The Board of Directors of Syngenta has unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders.

About Syngenta

Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta.

Additional information and where to find it

This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to purchase or a solicitation of an offer to sell company securities. The solicitation and offer to buy company securities is only made pursuant to the Swiss offer prospectus and the offer to purchase and other documents relating to the U.S. offer that have been filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). At the time the US Public Tender Offer was commenced, ChemChina and a designated direct or indirect subsidiary filed a tender offer statement on Schedule TO with the SEC and thereafter, the company filed a solicitation/recommendation statement on Schedule 14d-9 with respect to the offer. Investors and security holders are urged to read these materials carefully since they contain important information, including the terms and conditions of the offer. Investors and security holders may obtain a free copy of these materials and other documents filed by ChemChina and the company with the SEC at the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Investors and security holders may also obtain free copies of the solicitation/recommendation statement and other documents filed with the SEC by the company at www.syngenta.com.

Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements

Some of the statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the expected consummation of the acquisition, which involves a number of risks and uncertainties, including the satisfaction of closing conditions for the acquisition, such as regulatory approval for the transaction and the tender of at least 67% of the outstanding shares of the company, the possibility that the transaction will not be completed and other risks and uncertainties discussed in the company’s public filings with the SEC, including the “risk factors” section of the company’s form 20-F filed on February 16, 2017 as well as the tender offer documents filed by the offeror and the solicitation/recommendation statement filed by the company. These statements are based on current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any forward-looking statements. These statements are generally identified by words or phrases such as “believe”, “anticipate”, “expect”, “intend”, “plan”, “will”, “may”, “should”, “estimate”, “predict”, “potential”, “continue” or the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from the results and/or timing discussed in the forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on these statements. The offeror, ChemChina and the company disclaim any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the period covered by this press release or otherwise.

Unaudited first quarter sales

  For the quarter ended March 31,
($m)   2017   2016   Actual %   CER1 %
Group sales      
  Europe, Africa, Middle East 1,740 1,747 - -
North America 946 986 - 4 - 5
Latin America 393 399 - 1 - 3
  Asia Pacific   448   430   + 4   + 4
Total regional sales 3,527 3,562 - 1 - 1
Controls 117 112 + 5 + 2
  Flowers   66   68   - 2   -
  Group sales   3,710   3,742   - 1   - 1
Crop Protection by region
Europe, Africa, Middle East 1,218 1,274 - 4 - 3
North America 624 596 + 5 + 4
Latin America 307 344 - 11 - 11
  Asia Pacific   405   390   + 4   + 3
  Total   2,554   2,604   - 2   - 2
 
Seeds by region
Europe, Africa, Middle East 526 480 + 10 + 7
North America 332 398 - 17 - 17
Latin America 94 59 + 60 + 47
  Asia Pacific   44   42   + 5   + 4
  Total   996   979   + 2   -
 
Sales by business
Crop Protection 2,554 2,604 - 2 - 2
Seeds 996 979 + 2 -
  Elimination of Crop Protection sales to Seeds   -23   -21   n/a   n/a
Total regional sales 3,527 3,562 - 1 - 1
Controls 117 112 + 5 + 2
  Flowers   66   68   - 2   -
  Group sales   3,710   3,742   - 1   - 1

1 Growth at constant exchange rates

Unaudited first quarter product line sales

  For the quarter ended March 31,
($m)   2017   2016   Actual %   CER1 %
  Selective herbicides 829   880   - 6   - 6
Non-selective herbicides 141 150 - 6 - 11
Fungicides 922 908 + 2 + 2
Insecticides 378 387 - 2 - 4
Seedcare 254 244 + 4 + 2
Other crop protection   30   35   - 15   + 49
Total Crop Protection   2,554   2,604   - 2   - 2
Corn and soybean 487 520 - 7 - 8
Diverse field crops 364 317 + 15 + 10
Vegetables   145   142   + 2   + 5
Total Seeds   996   979   + 2   -
  Elimination of Crop Protection sales to Seeds   -23   -21   n/a   n/a
Controls 117 112 + 5 + 2
  Flowers   66   68   - 2   -
  Group sales   3,710   3,742   - 1   - 1

1 Growth at constant exchange rates

Contacts

Syngenta International AG
Media Office
Tel: +41 61 323 2323
Fax: +41 61 323 2424
www.syngenta.com
or
Media:
Leandro Conti, +41 61 323 2323
Switzerland
or
Paul Minehart, +1 202 737 8913
USA
or
Analyst/Investor contacts:
Jennifer Gough
Switzerland, +41 61 323 5059
USA, +1 202 737 6521

Release Summary

Syngenta first quarter 2017: Full year targets maintained

Contacts

Syngenta International AG
Media Office
Tel: +41 61 323 2323
Fax: +41 61 323 2424
www.syngenta.com
or
Media:
Leandro Conti, +41 61 323 2323
Switzerland
or
Paul Minehart, +1 202 737 8913
USA
or
Analyst/Investor contacts:
Jennifer Gough
Switzerland, +41 61 323 5059
USA, +1 202 737 6521