07 August 1998
Currencies and GM hit Zeneca

CURRENCY problems and the advance of genetically-modified (GM) crops in the USA have taken their toll on Zenecas bottom line.

First-half profits fell 2% to £669 million, after the group suffered an £81m currency hit. The company is now forecasting a currency conversion impact of £102m for the full year.

But Monsantos success in promoting herbicide-resistant soya in the US is damaging Zenecas agrochemical business.

Zenecas agrochemical sales rose 5% overall, mainly because of the success of its new fungicide Amistar. But Zenecas herbicide sales fell in the first half, because of drought in Asia and also the huge increase in the planting of GM soya crops in the US.

Monsantos proprietary herbicide Roundup left Zenecas herbicides with reduced sales.

Fungicides were the only agrochemical products achieving first-half growth. Sales of Amistar, used on everything from cereal crops to golf courses, reached £120m just one year after launch.

  • The Times 07/08/98 page 26
  • The Independent 07/08/98 page 19, page 21 (The Investment Column)
  • Financial Times 07/08/98 page 16 (Lex), page 17
  • The Guardian 07/08/98 page 17
  • The Daily Telegraph 07/08/98 page 26, page 26 (Questor)
  • The Scotsman 07/08/98 page 23, page 25 (Business View)