A stronger dollar and a rocky start for farmers have forced agrochemical giant, Syngenta, to slash its outlook as profits for the first half of 2009 fell nine per cent.
The Basel-based multinational posted a $1.39 billion (SFr1.49 billion) net profit for the first six months, down $1.52 billion from the same period last year. Analysts had expected net profits of $1.47 billion.
Syngenta's sales actually increased two per cent to $6.7 billion when figures are adjusted for currency fluctuations. The corporation had increased prices but that was not enough to offset currency conditions, CEO Mike Mack said.
The firm, which makes genetically modified seeds, herbicides and pesticides, said it hoped its earnings-per-share ratio would reach about the same levels as in 2008. Syngenta shares currently trade at about 13 times forecasts for 2010 earnings, which is cheaper than rivals like DuPont.
Stocks in the company opened 4.9 per cent lower at SFr244 ($227.52) a share on the Swiss exchange on Friday.
swissinfo.ch and agencies
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