Feb 7 (Reuters) - Danish enzymes maker Novozymes reported fourth-quarter operating profit below market expectations on Wednesday due to challenging situation in agriculture markets.
Fourth quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 4 percent to 1.02 billion Danish crowns ($169.85 million), missing the 1.07 billion crown expected by analysts.
Revenue declined 1 percent to 3.67 billion crowns.
“Sales of microbes to the agricultural industry declined, primarily due to slow pick-up in demand in the fourth quarter of 2017 after a very strong Q3. Farm economics continue to be under pressure and impact sales negatively,” Novozymes said in a statement.
Novozymes increased its 2017 dividend by 12.5 percent to 4.50 crowns per share, well above market expectations of 4.19 crowns.
The company said it expects 2018 organic sales growth between 4 and 6 percent. It reported 4 percent growth in 2017.
$1 = 6.0052 Danish crowns Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan