Agrochemicals company Syngenta posts big drop in Q1 sales, earnings

By Thomson Reuters Apr 29, 2024 | 1:08 AM

ZURICH (Reuters) -Seeds and pesticides maker Syngenta suffered big drops in first quarter sales and profit, the company said on Monday, just a few weeks after the Swiss company shelved its plans for a $10 billion flotation.

Sales fell 20% to $7.4 billion, Syngenta said, while core operating profit (EBITDA) declined by 34% to $1.2 billion, as farmers continued to run down their supplies rather than buying new seeds and sprays.

Higher interest rates were causing destocking by retailers and distributors, Syngenta said, with the crop protection business hardest hit with sales down 20%.

The seeds business meanwhile reported sales down 8%, said the Chinese-owned company that competes with U.S. company Corteva, as well as Germany’s BASF and Bayer.

Syngenta in March withdrew its bid for a multi-billion dollar listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange amid a period of weakness in the Chinese equity market.

The initial public offering (IPO), which would have valued the Sinochem owned company at as much as $60 billion, has been postponed repeatedly since being proposed in 2021 due to unfavourable market conditions.

Syngenta said in March it will restart the listing process in China or elsewhere “when the conditions are right” while also looking into alternate sources of funding.

(Reporting by John Revill, Editing by Friederike Heine)