February 14, 2020 / 8:52 AM / 4 days ago

Extreme weather depresses Syngenta sales ahead of expected float

* Stock market flotation expected

* CEO says new group can tackle climate change impact

ZURICH, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Syngenta, the Swiss agricultural chemicals giant bought by ChemChina, posted flat full-year sales on Friday, blaming extreme U.S. flooding and droughts in Australia.

The weak results precede a stock market flotation expected this year that will include Syngenta, sources have told Reuters, following a $43 billion deal in 2017 to add the Swiss company to the state-owned ChemChina’s portfolio.

Net income was barely changed at $1.45 billion, the Basel-based company said. Sales were flat at $13.6 billion.

China National Chemical Corp., or ChemChina, and Sinochem have consolidated agricultural assets into a new holding company called Syngenta Group.

Environmental campaigners have protested against Syngenta and other agrichemical groups, but Chief Executive Erik Fyrwald said the enlarged Syngenta Group would be better placed to deal with the impact of climate change.

“This further strengthens our ability to serve farmers all across the world with innovation for more sustainable agriculture, to help deal with weather extremes, reduce the impact of climate change, protect biodiversity and improve nutrition,” he said.

Crop protection sales rose 16% in Latin America and 3% in China, but fell in other markets, Syngenta said. Seed sales in Asia Pacific including China rose 16%, were flat in Latin America, and declined in Europe and North America. (Reporting by John Miller; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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