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Syngenta reports sharp decline in Q1 2024 sales and earnings

The decline was primarily due to industry-wide destocking in Crop Protection and challenging market conditions.

Syngenta Group

Syngenta Group today announced its financial results for the first quarter of 2024, reporting a significant decrease in sales and earnings compared to the same period last year. The company's sales dropped to $7.4 billion, a decline of 20 percent or 18 percent at constant exchange rates (CER), from the first quarter of 2023. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) also fell by 34 percent to $1.2 billion.

The downturn was largely attributed to continued industry-wide destocking in Crop Protection, as distributors and retailers reduced inventories in response to high interest rates, which impact working capital costs. Syngenta's Crop Protection segment, which constitutes about 40 percent of its total sales, saw a 24 percent decline in sales.

ADAMA, part of the Syngenta Group focused on post-patent active ingredients, also experienced a challenging quarter, with a 16 percent reduction in sales amid tough market conditions in the Asia Pacific (excluding China) and Europe.

Despite a general downturn, Syngenta's Seeds business, particularly in Vegetables, Flowers, and China, showed resilience with strong growth. Overall Seeds sales were down 8 percent from the previous year but showed notable expansion in specific areas.

Syngenta Group China reported an 18 percent decrease in sales from a record first quarter in the previous year. However, growth in its Seeds and branded formulation crop protection businesses partially offset this decline.

Syngenta highlighted its continued focus on operational efficiency and productivity to manage lower volumes and prices. The company remains committed to innovation, as evidenced by new product launches and the integration of newly acquired businesses, such as Dafeng Seed in China, which enhances its corn portfolio.

The company also introduced new sustainability priorities, emphasizing higher yields with lower environmental impact, adoption of regenerative agriculture, improvement of rural prosperity, and sustainable operations. These initiatives are part of Syngenta's strategy to integrate sustainability more profoundly into its business model and operations.

Syngenta Group's management expressed commitment to navigating the current challenging market environment while preparing for future growth and maintaining a leading position in the global agricultural market.

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