8 March 2002

Sales drop at Syngenta

AGCHEM giant Syngenta has reported an 8% decline in sales to $6.32bn (£4.44bn) for its worldwide operation during 2001.

This is the first full year of results for the company, formed by the merger of AstraZeneca and Novartis in mid-2000. It includes Amistar fungicide and weedkillers Gramoxone and Touchdown in its portfolio.

Crop protection sales, which made up 85% of overall turnover, slipped 9%. The Europe, Africa and the Middle East region suffered a 6% drop to $1.87bn (£1.3bn), mainly due to adverse market conditions, especially for cereal crops, in Western Europe.

Seed sales, which account for the remaining turnover, rose 1% overall, and 2% in the above region, with vegetables and maize highlighted as top performers.

Overall pre-tax profit fell 14% to $388m (£273m), though one-off merger and restructuring costs lopped $277m (£195m) off this headline figure. &#42