Syngenta 2012 Full Year Results

                       Syngenta 2012 Full Year Results

Continued sales momentum and record earnings

PR Newswire

BASEL, Switzerland, Feb. 6, 2013

BASEL, Switzerland, Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  oSales $14.2 billion, up 7 percent; up 10 percent at constant exchange
    rates (CER)^1

       ostrong fourth quarter in North and Latin America
       odouble digit Seeds growth in all regions (CER)

  oEBITDA up 17 percent at CER
  oNet income $1.9 billion, up 17 percent
  oEarnings per share^2 $22.30, up 15 percent
  oFree cash flow before record level of acquisitions: $0.9 billion
  oProposed dividend increased by 19 percent to CHF 9.50

                             Reported Financial Highlights
                             2012          2011         Actual       CER^1
                             $m            $m           %            %
Sales                        14,202        13,268       + 7          + 10
Operating income             2,292         2,051        + 12
Net income^3                 1,872         1,599        + 17
EBITDA                       3,150         2,905        + 8          +17
Earnings per share^2         $22.30        $19.36       + 15
^1 Growth at constant exchange rates
^2 Excluding restructuring and impairment; EPS on a fully-diluted basis.
^3 Net income to shareholders of Syngenta AG (equivalent to diluted earnings
per share of $20.32).

Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said:

"In 2012, crop prices rose sharply as adverse weather conditions in several
regions resulted in significant production shortfalls, once again highlighting
the fragility of global supply. Growers in the affected regions had to adapt
quickly in terms of planting and investment decisions, while also dealing with
ongoing challenges such as weed and insect resistance. The strong growth in
Syngenta's sales reflected our flexibility in providing solutions across crops
and, increasingly, in addressing agronomic challenges through our integrated
offers. These are proving their worth in developed and emerging regions
alike, contributing to growth rates of eight percent and 11 percent

"Since the announcement of our new strategy two years ago, we have been
driving the development of our portfolio by crop. The results already
achieved in the field and the potential for new integrated offers have enabled
us to increase target sales for our eight strategic crops to $25 billion by
2020. In addition, last year we made a number of acquisitions to secure new
technologies. We were able to do so while maintaining a strong balance sheet
as evidenced by the proposal of another substantial increase in the dividend."

Financial highlights 2012

Sales $14.2 billion
Sales increased by ten percent at constant exchange rates. Sales volume
increased by sevenpercent and prices were three percent higher. Reported
sales growth was sevenpercent owing to the appreciation of the dollar against
most currencies.

EBITDA $3.2 billion
At constant exchange rates EBITDA increased by 17 percent and the EBITDA
margin (CER) was 23.2 percent (2011: 21.9 percent). The increase in
profitability reflects the operational leverage from volume growth, price
increases and the recognition of an additional $200million of trait royalty
from DuPontPioneer, accompanied by cost savings largely from the integrated
business model of $198million. These together more than offset the impact of
higher raw material costs and a net $80million charge for the settlement of
US litigation relating to the herbicide atrazine.

The reported margin was 22.2percent. The negative impact of currency was
$235 million, or 100 basis points.

Net financial expense and taxation
Net financial expense of $147 million was slightly lower than in 2011 ($165
million). The tax rate before restructuring and impairment was 15 percent.

Net income $1.9 billion
Net income including restructuring and impairment was up 17 percent. Earnings
per share, excluding restructuring and impairment, increased by 15 percent to

Cash flow and balance sheet
Free cash flow before acquisitions totaled $924 million. Average trade
working capital as a percentage of sales was further reduced to 35 percent
from 37percent in 2011. Fixed capital expenditure including intangibles was
$679 million (2011:$575million) reflecting increased investment to meet
growing demand, notably in the emerging markets. Acquisition spending reached
$654 million, with opportunities to acquire new technologies and to expand
seeds production capability. Cash flow return on investment at 15 percent
again exceeded the 12percent target. The ratio of net debt to equity was
20percent (2011:15 percent).

Dividend and share repurchase
The total cash return to shareholders in 2012 was $795 million. The dividend
was raised by 14percent, or 13 percent in US dollars, to give a total
dividend payout of $791 million. Share repurchases amounted to $4 million:
the primary focus is on the dividend and in 2012 there was significant
expenditure on acquisitions.

In the light of continuing strong free cash flow generation, the Board of
Directors will propose to the AGM on April 23, 2013 an increase in the
dividend to CHF 9.50 per share from CHF8.00 in 2011. This represents an
increase of 19 percent in Swiss francs and around 21percent in US dollars at
end January exchange rates. As in previous years, the company retains the
flexibility to execute tactical share buybacks.

Business Highlights 2012

                           Full Year     Growth       4^th Quarter Growth
                           2012   2011   Actual CER   2012   2011  Actual CER
                           $m     $m     %      %     $m     $m    %      %
Europe, Africa & Middle    3,974  3,982  -      + 6   387    414   - 7    - 3
North America              3,931  3,273  + 20   + 21  690    538   + 28   + 28
Latin America              3,713  3,305  + 12   + 13  1,556  1,324 + 18   + 17
Asia Pacific               1,827  1,887  - 3    -     432    443   - 3    - 1
Total regional sales       13,445 12,447 + 8    + 11  3,065  2,719 + 13   + 13
Lawn and Garden^(1)        757    821    - 8    - 6   174    184   - 6    - 5
Group sales                14,202 13,268 + 7    + 10  3,239  2,903 + 12   + 12

Regional sales performance

  oSales $13.4 billion, up 11%^(2)
  oVolume +8%, price +3%
  oEBITDA $3.0 billion (2011: $2.8 billion)
  oEBITDA margin^(2) 23.8% (2011: 22.5%)

(1) Including impact of divestments
(2) At constant exchange rates

Europe, Africa and the Middle East: Growth was broad-based with the strongest
contributions to growth coming from the CIS and South East Europe, where
commercial integration is driving clear gains in scale and in customer
recognition of our portfolio. Seeds sales were in addition driven by the
substitution of corn and sunflower for lost winter cereal crops. France also
registered a strong full year performance led by growth in fungicides. Sales
in southern Europe were lower owing to dry weather as well as the economic

North America had an excellent year across the business. The expansion of our
corn technology resulted in good underlying seeds sales growth which was
augmented by licensing revenue. A warm winter and an early planting season
favored the use of herbicides and insecticides, with further momentum coming
from the ongoing success of our weed and insect resistance management
programs. This more than offset a reduction in third quarter fungicide
applications due to the summer drought. Low channel inventories and strong
demand in advance of the 2013 season led to an acceleration of growth in the
fourth quarter.

Latin America staged a strong recovery from drought conditions which reduced
sales in the first quarter. High soybean prices encouraged increases in
acreage and investment. The development of second season corn is favoring
technology adoption in both crop protection and seeds. The traction resulting
from the early integration of our commercial teams in Brazil has added impetus
to the growth in our seeds portfolio, with share gains in both corn and
soybean. The need to boost sugar cane productivity was reflected in strong
growth in herbicide sales and the identification of new opportunities in
seedlings and young plants.

Asia Pacific: Sales excluding the impact of range rationalization and
registrations increased five percent. China and South East Asia both reported
double digit growth with expansion in corn and the roll-out of DURIVO^®
insecticides. Growth in South Asia was more moderate owing to an erratic
monsoon and to the product phase-outs which also affected sales in Japan.
Sales in Australasia were lower owing to early floods followed by
exceptionally hot and dry conditions in the second half of the year.

Lawn and Garden performance

  oSales $757 million, 6% lower^(1)
  oEBITDA $103 million (2011: $103 million)
  oEBITDA margin^(1) 13.9% (2011: 12.5%)

(1) At constant exchange rates

Excluding the impact of acquisitions and divestments, sales were broadly
flat. While low consumer spending and cautious retailer behavior continued
to affect many markets, we made significant progress in simplifying the
business and focusing on high value chemistry and genetics. This included the
divestment of some lower margin businesses including Fafard growing media,
which in June was sold to Sun Gro Horticulture Canada Ltd., with whom we
continue to collaborate in order to include growing media in our integrated
offers. In November we announced that Griffin Greenhouse Supplies, Inc., will
acquire the SyngentaHorticultural Services flowers distribution and brokerage
business. The acquisition of the DuPont Professional Products insecticide
business will augment our portfolio of chemical controls with the established
Advion^® and Acelepryn^® brands.

Capacity expansion

In Argentina, Syngenta announced a $50 million investment to build a new
processing plant for corn and sunflower seeds. In Brazil, the company plans
to quadruple the capacity of its Formosa corn processing plant. Syngenta has
also signed a letter of intent to invest up to $85 million in the construction
of a hybrid seed and crop protection facility in KrasnodarskiyKrai in Russia.


The DuPont Professional Products business (see under Lawn and Garden) was
acquired for $125 million and consolidated with effect from October 2012.

In September Syngenta agreed to pay $86 million, with additional deferred
payments of up to $27 million, for Pasteuria Bioscience Inc. The naturally
occurring soil bacteria Pasteuria spp will be used to develop cost-effective
nematicides with a novel mode of action.

In November Syngenta commenced a tender offer valued at €403 million for the
Belgian company Devgen, a global leader in hybrid rice and RNAi technology.
By January 18, 2013, 98.32 percent of the total number of shares in Devgen had
been tendered; the remaining shares will be acquired through a squeeze-out.
The acquisition, which was consolidated from December 2012, will reinforce
Syngenta's leading position in the global rice market and will enable the
combination of RNAi-based crop applications with our broad crop protection

Also in November, Syngenta announced the acquisition of Sunfield Seeds, a
US-based provider of sunflower seeds production and processing services. The
acquisition will strengthen our sunflower supply capability in support of
future growth.

New partnerships: Syngenta and Novozymes signed two global agreements in
2012. Firstly, the two companies will jointly commercialize the Novozymes
technology JumpStart^®, a seed-applied biological which increases phosphate
uptake in the soil. A second marketing and distribution agreement relates to
Taegro^®, a fermented biological fungicide which offers growers broad-spectrum
disease control at low application rates.

Under a barley breeding agreement with Intergrain, Syngenta has gained
exclusive commercialization rights for all new barley varieties, and exclusive
rights to commercialize existing Intergrain varieties outside Australia.

Crop pipelines: In September, Syngenta upgraded its sales target for its
eight key crops to $25 billion by 2020. This compares with a previous target
of over $22 billion post-2015. The upgrade followed strategic updates
covering four of the crops: Cereals, Corn, Rice and Vegetables. The sales
target comprises growth in the existing portfolio and the launch of new
products, with an increasing emphasis on integrated offers.

Performance metrics: The performance of our portfolio and the development of
our integrated offers enabled us to gain further market share in 2012. This
supports our confidence in achieving the target of an annual average
0.5percent market share gain across the combined business over the next five
years. In 2012  the group EBITDA margin of 22.2 percent was within the target
range of 22-24 percent set for 2015. This achievement is against a backdrop
of currency and raw material headwinds as well as ongoing investments in
growth. Cash Flow Return on Investment at 15percent was significantly ahead
of the targeted rate of over 12 percent. These results are reflected in the
proposed dividend increase, in line with our strategy of returning cash to


Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"Our confidence in the coming season is reinforced by the fourth quarter
business strength, notably in North and Latin America, as well as robust
commodity crop prices. In 2013 we look forward to further business momentum
driven by our innovative offers and a commercial organization which is now
fully integrated in all territories. We also expect to generate significant
free cash flow, while continuing to invest in the realization of our
crop-based pipelines and in the ongoing expansion of our commercial footprint,
notably in the emerging markets."

Crop Protection

                         Full Year    Growth       4^th Quarter Growth
Crop Protection          2012   2011  Actual CER   2012   2011  Actual CER
by product line          $m     $m    %      %     $m     $m    %      %
Selective herbicides     2,939  2,617 +12    + 15  589    417   + 41   + 42
Non-selective herbicides 1,246  1,117 + 12   + 14  298    231   + 29   + 29
Fungicides               3,044  2,998 + 2    + 4   758    704   + 8    + 8
Insecticides             1,841  1,790 + 3    + 6   513    496   + 4    + 4
Seed care                1,107  1,018 + 9    + 12  320    332   - 3    - 3
Other crop protection    141    137   + 2    + 5   36     39    - 10   - 10
Total                    10,318 9,677 + 7    + 9   2,514  2,219 + 13   + 14

Selective herbicides: major brands AXIAL^®, CALLISTO^® family, DUAL^®/BICEP^®

AXIAL^® on cereals registered double digit growth in all regions. The largest
contribution came from Canada, where increased acreage coincided with low
channel inventories at the start of the year. In corn, the CALLISTO^® family
and DUAL^®/BICEP^® grew strongly in the USA driven by their success in
managing resistant weeds as well as high corn prices. Adoption of both
products on sugar cane in Brazil, where they form part of integrated agronomic
protocols, is accelerating rapidly.

Non-selective herbicides: major brands GRAMOXONE^®, TOUCHDOWN^®

GRAMOXONE^® showed good growth in Latin America and the USA, where it was used
as an alternative to glyphosate in areas of weed resistance. Sales in the
developed markets of Asia Pacific were lower, partly due to non-renewal of the
registration in South Korea. TOUCHDOWN^® sales grew strongly notably in the
Americas reflecting a high level of demand on corn and soybean and a shortage
of generic supply.

Fungicides: major brands ALTO^®, AMISTAR^®, BRAVO^®, REVUS^®, RIDOMILGOLD^®,

Fungicide sales progressed despite drought in Latin America in the first
quarter and in the USA throughout the summer. The largest product AMISTAR^®
continues to expand: volume growth was driven by our offer comprising multiple
mixtures and formulations adapted by crop and geography, and pricing remained
robust. Sales of REVUS^® for vegetables, vines and potatoes were up by 25
percent in Europe, its main market. In November, the European Union granted
full approval for isopyrazam, which will represent a major step forward in the
control of a wide variety of damaging fungal diseases.

Insecticides: major brands ACTARA^®, DURIVO^®, FORCE^®, KARATE^®, PROCLAIM^®,

Excluding the impact of range rationalization, sales were up 10 percent led by
the Americas. In the USA, a mild winter and dry weather throughout the corn
belt created heavy early insect pressure. In addition, grower awareness of
corn rootworm resistance and of the benefits of soil-based insecticides
increased, with North American sales of FORCE^® more than doubling as a
result. Latin American growth was driven by technology adoption, with the
strongest contributions coming from ACTARA^® and DURIVO^®.

Seed care: major brands AVICTA^®, CRUISER^®, DIVIDEND^®, CELEST/MAXIM^®,

Global growth was led by CRUISER^® and CELEST/MAXIM^®. Ongoing technology
adoption drove a particularly strong performance in the emerging markets,
where sales were up by over 20 percent. In Latin America the nematicide
AVICTA^® also showed strong growth. VIBRANCE™, a new compound which delivers
enhanced root health as well as controlling a wide range of diseases, was
successfully launched in North America.

                          Full Year    Growth       4^th Quarter Growth
Crop Protection           2012   2011  Actual CER   2012   2011  Actual CER
by region                 $m     $m    %      %     $m     $m    %      %
Europe, Africa, Mid. East 2,910  2,958 - 2    + 5   325    354   - 8    - 5
North America             2,577  2,158 + 19   + 20  422    286   + 47   + 47
Latin America             3,261  2,907 + 12   + 13  1,411  1,208 + 17   + 17
Asia Pacific              1,570  1,654 - 5    - 2   356    371   - 4    - 3
Total                     10,318 9,677 + 7    + 9   2,514  2,219 + 13   + 14


                    Full Year   Growth       4^th Quarter Growth
Seeds               2012  2011  Actual CER   2012   2011  Actual CER
by product line     $m    $m    %      %     $m     $m    %      %
Corn and Soybean    1,836 1,471 + 25   + 26  386    334   + 15   + 15
Diverse Field Crops 719   676   + 6    + 11  66     77    - 14   - 12
Vegetables          682   703   - 3    + 1   148    131   + 14   + 15
Total               3,237 2,850 + 14   + 16  600    542   + 11   + 11

Corn and Soybean: major brands AGRISURE^®, ^ GARST^®, GOLDEN HARVEST^®, NK^®

Sales were up strongly in all regions driven by corn worldwide and by soybean
in LatinAmerica. North American sales were augmented by additional corn
trait royalty income of around $200 million received in the first half;
excluding this amount global corn sales were up 15percent, with a positive
customer response to our broad technology offer. In LatinAmerica corn growth
was driven by the expansion of the second season in Brazil, where sales were
up by more than 30 percent helped by the launch of new trait combinations.
Increases in soybean acreage for the 2012/13 season have been accompanied by
strong demand for our leading varieties such as V-Max. The integrated
PLENUS^® offer is growing well in Argentina where it now accounts for around
three quarters of the portfolio.

Diverse Field Crops: major brands NK^® oilseeds, HILLESHOG^® sugar beet

Growth was led by sunflower in Eastern Europe where we are capturing value
from the expansion of our leading conventional and high oleic hybrids. In
North America, growth in sunflower and cereals more than offset the disposal
of the sorghum business. Hybrid barley is starting to make a significant
contribution in major Western European countries, alongside growth in the
existing wheat business.

Vegetables: major brands DULCINEA^®, ROGERS^®, S&G^®

There was an upturn in the fourth quarter which offset the earlier impact of a
difficult economic environment. In North America, the processing market has
recovered from a period of oversupply and fresh produce sales are benefiting
from strong demand for miniature watermelons. In Mexico and Iberia, Zeraim's
leading tomato and pepper varieties are driving sales.

                          Full Year   Growth       4^th Quarter Growth
Seeds by region           2012  2011  Actual CER   2012   2011  Actual CER
                          $m    $m    %      %     $m     $m    %      %
Europe, Africa, Mid. East 1,101 1,063 + 4    + 10  83     86    - 3    - 1
North America             1,398 1,142 + 22   + 22  292    266   + 10   + 9
Latin America             479   409   + 17   + 18  148    118   + 26   + 26
Asia Pacific              259   236   + 10   + 16  77     72    + 6    + 9
Total                     3,237 2,850 + 14   + 16  600    542   + 11   + 11

Announcements and Meetings

2012 Annual Report publication        March 13, 2013
First quarter trading statement       April 18, 2013
AGM                                   April 23, 2013
Crop update                           July 9-11, 2013
First half results                    July 24, 2013
Third quarter trading statement       October 17, 2013
Crop update                           December 4-6, 2013

Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 27,000
employees in over 90countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant
potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment
to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the
environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information
about us please go to

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by
terminology such as 'expect', 'would', 'will', 'potential', 'plans',
'prospects', 'estimated', 'aiming', 'on track' and similar expressions. Such
statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the
actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to
Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties.
Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect
actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not
constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any
solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in
Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on
in connection with, any contract there for.

Syngenta International AG Media contacts:         Analyst/Investor contacts:
Media Office              Paul Barrett            Jennifer Gough
CH-4002 Basel             Switzerland +41 61 323 Switzerland +41 61 323 5059
Switzerland                                       USA +1 202 737
Tel: +41 61 323 23 23
Fax:+41 61 323 24 24    Paul Minehart           Lars Oestergaard
                          USA + 1 202 737 8913    Switzerland +41 61 323 6793                                  USA +1 202 737

SOURCE Syngenta

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.