Syngenta's net profit -11%, hit by increased costs, writedown

Syngenta's (SYT) 2013 net profit fell 11% to $1.64B and missed consensus of $1.71B, and while sales rose 3% to $14.69B, the figure undershot forecasts of $14.82B.

Adjusted EPS -12% to $19.30, EBITDA -7% to $2.9B

Syngenta's earnings were hurt by reduced trait royalty income, a rise of $175M in seed production expenses following the U.S. drought in 2012, and a seeds inventory write-down of $170M.

The company intends to intensify its focus on "cost and capital efficiency" and plans to cut $1B a year by 2018.

Syngenta intends to increase its dividend 5% to 10 Swiss francs ($11.06) per share.

Syngenta expects 2014 integrated sales to increase at a similar rate to 2013. CEO Mike Mack said the company remains on course to reach its sales target of $25B by 2020. However, the firm forecasts that it will achieve the lower end of its target-margin range in 2015. (PR)

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