* Q4 EBIT 703 million crowns vs forecast of 699
* Sees 2014 EBIT growth of 6 to 9 pct
* Proposes 2.50 crown dividend per share vs forecast of 2.41
* Shares up 2.6 percent to all-time high
(Adds detail, CEO comment)
COPENHAGEN, Jan 21 Danish industrial enzyme
maker Novozymes said earnings growth would accelerate
this year and next, driven by demand for biofuels, sending its
shares to a record high.
The world's largest producer of enzymes used in detergents,
bioethanol, food and beer reported fourth-quarter profit in line
with analyst forecasts. It said most of its growth in 2014 would
be from bioenergy, even though U.S. ethanol production was flat
"We still have lots of technology to implement, so it's
still an area which will contribute with high growth," Novozymes
Chief Financial Officer Benny Loft told Reuters.
Novozymes, which competes in the biofuel enzymes market with
U.S. chemicals group DuPont, posted a 9 percent increase
in sales to the Bioenergy industry in 2013.
It expects operating profit growth of 6 to 9 percent this
year, up from 6 percent in 2013, and maintained guidance for 10
percent growth in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from
"The 2014 guidance looks strong, especially when we know the
management used to give conservative outlooks," analyst Michael
Friis Jorgensen from Alm. Brand Markets said.
In December last year, Novozymes and U.S.-based Monsanto Co.
formed an alliance for the research and
commercialisation of microbial products for agriculture.
. The deal will have a negative impact on sales
growth of up to 1 percentage point this year.
EBIT rose to 703 million Danish crowns ($128 million) in the
October to December quarter from a year-earlier 671 million
crowns and against an average forecast of 699 million crowns in
a Reuters poll of analysts..
Shares in Novozymes were up 2.6 percent at 0803 GMT at
244.60 crowns, a record high. It trades on a forward 12-month
price-to-earnings ratio of 30.9, around twice a sector median of
16.5 for peers in Europe, Reuters data showed.
($1 = 5.5016 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; additional reporting by Ole
Mikkelsen; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)