24 July 1998
Monsanto deals dampen profits

MONSANTOS ambitious acquisition programme and increased spending on the development and commercialisation of new products has held back its short-term earnings growth.

The life sciences group yesterday announced after-tax profits from continuing operations in the second quarter of $257 million (£156m) on sales of $2.5bn. This compared with $250m after-tax profits on sales of $2.1bn in the same quarter the previous year.

The company increased what it called “growth” spending by $200m, up 60% from the same period in 1997.

Monsanto is to take an $800m write-off as a result of three of its latest purchases – DeKalb Genetics, Cargills international seed operations and Plant Breeding International Cambridge in the UK.

The St Louis-based company said it had seen “significantly increased” sales of agricultural and other core products, including a strong sales performance internationally from its Roundup herbicide which can be used with a range of genetically-modified crops.

  • Financial Times 24/07/98 page 20