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Nufarm Slumps After Saying Profit May Decline 31%: Sydney Mover

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- Nufarm Ltd., Australia’s largest supplier of farm chemicals, slumped the most since July 2010 after saying full-year profit will fall on lower income from its Australian operations.

Shares of the Melbourne-based company fell 15 percent to A$4.05 at 10:45 a.m. in Sydney trading, the most since July 15, 2010. Earlier it declined as much as 17 percent. The stock is the biggest loser on the benchmark Australian index today.

Full-year profit may drop as much as 31 percent, Nufarm said yesterday after the close of trading. Underlying profit will decline to a range of A$80 million ($84 million) to A$95 million for the year ending July 31, the company said in a statement. That compares with A$115.4 million reported a year earlier. Earnings before interest and tax may drop to a range of A$180 million to A$200 million, from A$206 million.

“Conditions in Australia remain extremely challenging with relatively low demand and associated sales activity continuing into the first two months of the second half,” the company said yesterday.

Nufarm’s Australia and New Zealand businesses were its biggest unit by sales during fiscal 2012 generating A$727 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Dry and hot conditions during the first half of this fiscal year have affected Nufarm’s business, the company said.

The stock declined 18 percent this year through yesterday after announcing it will lose rights to sell BASF AG’s crop-protection products in Australia in 2014 and Monsanto Co.’s Roundup weed killers in August.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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