18 February 2000
Novartis ag-chem profits slump

SWISS life sciences giant Novartis has blamed a slump in crop prices for a 33% decline to SF737 million in full-year profits for its agrochemicals arm.

Economic crises in Russia, the Ukraine and Brazil worsened the effect.

The Novartis agrochemical arm business is about to be combined with its AstraZeneca counterpart and spun off to create a new company called Syngenta.

At the group level, the company reported an 11% rise in annual profits to SF6.6bn (2.5bn).