Nufarm Estimates Lower Profit on Decline in Australian Earnings

Nufarm Ltd., Australia’s largest supplier of farm chemicals, said full-year profit may drop as much as 31 percent as it expects to generate lower income from its Australian operations.

Underlying profit will decline to a range of A$80 million ($84 million) to A$95 million for the year ending July 31, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement after the market closed. 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,” Nufarm said in the statement.

Nufarm’s Australian and New Zealand businesses generated A$236 million in sales in the six months ended Jan. 31, 22 percent less than the previous year, after dry and hot conditions for most of the first half, the company said.

Nufarm rose 0.2 percent to A$4.77 at the close in Sydney. The stock has fallen 18 percent this year after the company announced 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.

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