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Syngenta First Quarter 2012: sustained sales growth

BASEL, Switzerland, April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

    --  Sales up 9 percent at constant exchange rates to $4.3 billion
    --  Strong start to Northern hemisphere season
    --  Corn seed sales up 21 percent: technology realizing global potential
    --  Integrated strategy driving outperformance

Sales in the first quarter of 2012 increased by 9 percent at constant exchange rates. Volumes were up 5 percent, with a further 4 percent contribution from price. Reported sales were 7 percent higher at $4.3 billion.

Integrated sales

In Europe, Africa and the Middle East, sales were up by 14 percent at constant exchange rates compared with a strong quarter in 2011. In France, a strong underlying performance by CALLISTO(® )on corn and in fungicides was augmented by a shift in sales from the fourth to the first quarter following a change in the law on credit terms. Eastern Europe continued its growth trajectory, with sales up by more than 25 percent helped by a broadening of the crop protection range and strong demand for spring crop seeds: in Ukraine, seeds sales doubled to exceed $100 million. In North America sales were up 13 percent. Crop protection sales reflected an early start to the season and recognition of Syngenta's capabilities in resistance management and crop enhancement. There was strong demand for Syngenta's enhanced corn seed portfolio, in particular the AGRISURE(®) VIPTERA(TM) trait; sales of soybean and vegetable seeds were lower.

In Latin America, at the end of the season, an increase in second season corn in Brazil partly offset the effect of drought in Argentina and southern Brazil. Seeds sales continued their rapid expansion, with growth of over 40 percent and market share gains in both corn and soybean. Growth in Asia Pacific was also led by seeds, notably corn; crop protection sales were slightly lower owing to cold and wet conditions in Australasia and to range rationalization in India and Japan. China and the emerging ASEAN markets showed strong growth across the business.

Product line sales

Double digit growth in Selective Herbicides was driven by AXIAL(® )and by the corn portfolio, notably in Europe and North America. In the USA, solutions for resistant weeds are increasingly valued. A decline in sales of Non-selective Herbicides reflected lower sales of GRAMOXONE(® )in Asia-Pacific, notably Korea. Global sales of TOUCHDOWN(® )increased. Fungicides sales were again higher: strong early demand in Europe and the expansion of AMISTAR(®), notably in the USA, more than offset lower sales in Latin America due to drought. Growth in Insecticides reflected the further success of ACTARA(®) and the further expansion of DURIVO(®) on rice and vegetables. Sales of FORCE(®), used to combat corn rootworm, were up by more than 50 percent. Seed care sales increased by 24 percent driven by the global expansion of CRUISER(®). Total sales of new crop protection products reached $242 million in the first quarter, an increase of 35 percent.

Sales of Corn & Soybean seeds rose by 13 percent driven by the success of the Corn portfolio in all regions. North American revenues reflected lower licensing income for the quarter: underlying US Corn sales were up 16 percent. US sales of Soybean were lower due to an expected acreage shift and to the ongoing transition to second generation herbicide tolerance technology. Sales of Diverse Field Crops increased by 24 percent, driven by high-performing sunflower hybrids and sugar beet. Vegetables sales were lower as consumers in Europe and North America reined back expenditure.

Lawn and Garden

The Lawn and Garden business comprises Professional Products and Flower seeds, and provides integrated solutions to professional growers of ornamental plants and to golf course superintendents. Sales in the first quarter were slightly lower because of the depressed consumer environment in Europe.

Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said: "After a strong year in 2011 sales momentum continued in the first quarter, with an excellent start to the season in both Europe and North America. The implementation of our integrated strategy is proceeding rapidly and we are already seeing benefits in the leverage of our portfolio and the commercial organization. This underpins our confidence that we will continue to outperform an expanding market. In 2012, although we face the anticipated headwind from currencies and raw materials, we expect to achieve a further increase in EBITDA margin at constant exchange rates and to sustain strong cash generation."

Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries 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 www.syngenta.com.

Unaudited First Quarter Sales

     Integrated
     sales                                      Q1 2012  Q1 2011  Actual    CER(1)
                                                     $m       $m       %         %
    ---                                             ---      ---     ---       ---
                           Europe, Africa and Middle
                           East                             1759    1597       +10 +14
                          North America                     1269    1125       +13 +13
                          Latin America                      497     516        -4  -3
                          Asia Pacific                       530     522        +2  +2
                          ------------                       ---     ---       --- ---
                          Total                             4055    3760        +8 +10
                          Lawn and Garden(2)                 249     257        -3  -2
                          -----------------                  ---     ---       --- ---
                          Group Sales                       4304    4017        +7  +9
                          -----------                       ----    ----       --- ---

    Sales by business
                          Crop Protection                   2861    2669        +7  +9
                          Seeds                             1225    1108       +11 +13
                          Inter-segment elimination(3)       -31     -17       n/a n/a
                          ---------------------------        ---     ---       --- ---
                          Total                             4055    3760        +8 +10
                          Lawn and Garden(2)                 249     257        -3  -2
                          -----------------                  ---     ---       --- ---
                          Group Sales                       4304    4017        +7  +9
                          -----------                       ----    ----       --- ---

    Crop Protection
     regional sales
                           Europe, Africa and Middle
                           East                             1166    1084        +8 +12
                          North America                      784     634       +24 +24
                          Latin America                      429     464        -8  -7
                          Asia Pacific                       482     487        -1  -1
                          ------------                       ---     ---       --- ---
                          Total                             2861    2669        +7  +9
                          -----                             ----    ----       --- ---

    Seeds regional sales
                           Europe, Africa and Middle
                           East                              605     522       +16 +20
                          North America                      496     497         -   -
                          Latin America                       76      53       +43 +44
                          Asia Pacific                        48      36       +35 +38
                          ------------                       ---     ---       --- ---
                          Total                             1225    1108       +11 +13
                          -----                             ----    ----       --- ---
    (1) Growth at constant exchange rates.
    (2) Includes Professional Products, Flowers and Lawn and Garden inter-
     segment elimination. Professional Products were formerly reported under
     Crop Protection and Flowers under Seeds.
    (3) Crop Protection inter-segment sales to Seeds.

     Product
     line
     sales                           Q1 2012  Q1 2011  Actual    CER(1)
                                          $m       $m       %         %
    ---                                  ---      ---     ---       ---

              Selective Herbicides                912     827       +10     +12
              Non-selective Herbicides            234     250        -6      -6
              Fungicides                          901     881        +2      +4
              Insecticides                        462     430        +8      +9
              Seed Care                           314     257       +22     +24
              Other Crop Protection                38      24       +59     +58
              ---------------------               ---     ---       ---     ---
              Total Crop Protection              2861    2669        +7      +9
              ---------------------              ----    ----       ---     ---
              Corn and Soybean                    707     634       +11     +13
              Diverse Field Crops                 356     297       +20     +24
              Vegetables                          162     177        -8      -6
              Total Seeds                        1225    1108       +11     +13
              -----------                        ----    ----       ---     ---
              Inter-segment elimination(3)        -31     -17       n/a     n/a
              ---------------------------         ---     ---       ---     ---
              Lawn and Garden(2)                  249     257        -3      -2
              -----------------                   ---     ---       ---     ---
              Group Sales                        4304    4017        +7      +9
              -----------                        ----    ----       ---     ---
    (1) Growth at constant exchange rates.
    (2) Includes Professional Products, Flowers and Lawn and Garden inter-
     segment elimination. Professional Products were formerly reported under
     Crop Protection and Flowers under Seeds.
    (3) Crop Protection inter-segment sales to Seeds.

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 therefore.

    Syngenta International AG Media contact:              Analyst/Investor contact:

    Media Office              Medard Schoenmaeckers       Jennifer Gough
    CH-4002 Basel             Switzerland +41 61 323 2323 Switzerland +41 61 323 5059
    Switzerland                                             USA +1 202 737 6521
    Tel:+41 61 323 23 23
    Fax:+41 61 323 24 24

    www.syngenta.com

SOURCE Syngenta

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