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Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta sees profit rise

 Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2012   News Source: AFP

Swiss agrochemicals giant Syngenta sees profit rise

Syngenta, the world's biggest agrochemicals firm, on Wednesday posted a 14-percent rise in net profit for 2011 while forecasting more sales growth in the coming year.

The Swiss firm recorded a $1.6 billion (1.2 billion euro) profit last year, meeting analysts' predictions.

Sales increased 14 percent to $13.3 billion and core earnings before exceptional items rose 16 percent to $2.9 billion.

"Crop prices in 2011, although volatile, continued to be supported by ongoing growth in demand," said Syngenta chief executive Mike Mack in a statement.

"This growth is concentrated in emerging markets where our sales increased by 18 percent to represent just under half of the total."

The company chief said that despite current economic uncertainty, Syngenta was this year looking forward to "sustained sales growth and further market share gains."

The Basel-based firm, which specialises in insecticides to protect crops, will offer shareholders a dividend of eight Swiss francs, a rise of 14 percent, at its April AGM.

In morning trading its share price went down 0.44 percent to 292.60 Swiss francs.

Syngenta employs about 26,000 people in 90 countries.