2011 Full Year Results 

Basel, Switzerland, February 8, 2012 

Strong performance in first year of integrated strategy

  • Sales $13.3 billion, up 14 percent; up 12 percent at constant exchange rates 1
  • Sustained volume growth, improved Crop Protection pricing
  • Seeds EBITDA margin 17.1 percent (2010: 12.7 percent)
  • Net income2 $1.6 billion, up 14 percent
  • Earnings per share3 $19.36, up 18 percent
  • Record free cash flow: $1.5 billion
  • Increased cash return: proposed dividend CHF 8.00



  Reported Financial Highlights
2011 2010 Actual CER1
  $m $m % %
 Sales 13,268 11,641 +14 +12
  Crop Protection 10,162 8,878 +14 +12
  Seeds 3,185 2,805 +14 +12
 Net Income2 1,599 1,397 +14  

 EBITDA 2,905 2,505 +16 +18
 Earnings per share3 $19.36 $16.44 +18  

1 Growth at constant exchange rates.
2 Net income to shareholders of Syngenta AG (equivalent to diluted earnings per share of $17.31).
3 Excluding restructuring and impairment; EPS on a fully-diluted basis.

Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said:


“At the beginning of 2011 Syngenta announced its new strategy, bringing together our Crop Protection and Seeds businesses to develop fully integrated offers on a global crop basis. I am pleased to report that we were able to deliver strong growth in sales and earnings for the year while implementing the strategy at a pace which has surpassed our initial expectations. The integration of our commercial teams is already yielding opportunities for increased sales. Our confidence has been reinforced by a positive response from our customers who recognize the role integrated offers can play in managing an increasingly complex agricultural environment.


Crop prices in 2011, although volatile, continued to be supported by ongoing growth in demand. This growth is concentrated in emerging markets where our sales increased by 18 percent to represent just under half of the total. In developed markets we achieved solid growth of six percent reflecting the success of new products and our strong customer relationships. In the USA, we are leveraging our market-leading position in crop protection to increase awareness of our enhanced corn and soybean seed portfolio, which has contributed to the Seeds business substantially exceeding its margin target for the full year. Free cash flow in 2011 reached a record level of $1.5 billion, enabling us to fund investments and again increase the amount of cash we will return to shareholders in 2012.”



Financial highlights 2011


Sales $13.3 billion


Sales increased by 12 percent at constant exchange rates (CER). Sales volume increased by 11 percent and prices were up one percent. Currency added a further two percent to give growth in reported sales of 14 percent.


EBITDA $2.9 billion


EBITDA increased by 18 percent (CER); the EBITDA margin was also higher at 21.9 percent (2010: 21.5 percent). At constant exchange rates the margin was 22.8 percent, reflecting good volume growth and higher prices in both Crop Protection and Seeds. Investments in growing the business, notably in emerging markets, continued. Total cost savings including efficiency gains from the integrated business model were $132 million.


Currency movements


Currency movements had a negative impact of $52 million on EBITDA. The positive impact of a weaker dollar on the top line was more than offset by the impact of a strong Swiss franc on the cost base. This was however mitigated by hedges implemented in 2010.


Net income $1.6 billion


Net income including restructuring and impairment was up 14 percent. Earnings per share, excluding restructuring and impairment, increased by 18 percent to $19.36.


Net financial expense and taxation


Net financial expense of $165 million was slightly higher than in 2010 and the tax rate was unchanged.


Cash flow and balance sheet


Average trade working capital as a percentage of sales was reduced to 37 percent from 39 percent in 2010. The improvement was due to a further reduction in inventories as a percentage of sales as demand in both Crop Protection and Seeds remained strong. Fixed capital expenditure including intangibles was $575 million (2010: $526 million). Acquisition spend totaled $19 million. Free cash flow reached a record level of $1.5 billion. Cash flow return on investment at 14 percent exceeded the 12 percent target. The ratio of net debt to equity was 15 percent (2010: 20 percent).


Dividend and share repurchase


The total cash return to shareholders in 2011 was $903 million. The dividend was raised by 17 percent, or 36 percent in US dollars, to give a total dividend payout of $705 million. In addition, we repurchased shares to the value of $198 million.

In the light of continuing strong free cash flow generation, the Board of Directors will propose to the AGM on April 24, 2012 an increase in the dividend to CHF 8.00 per share from CHF 7.00 in 2010. This represents an increase of 14 percent in Swiss francs and around 15 percent in US dollars at end January exchange rates. In addition, the company’s current plan is to repurchase shares in 2012 for an amount of $200 million, giving a total cash return of around $1 billion.


Business Highlights 2011


Crop Protection


  • Sales $10.2 billion, up 12%*
  • Volume +11%, price +1%
  • EBITDA $2.5 billion (2010: $2.2 billion)
  • EBITDA margin 24.4% (2010: 24.7%)

* At constant exchange rates.

At constant exchange rates, sales increased by more than $1 billion in 2011. Volume momentum continued into the second half of the year, with broad-based growth in Latin America and a strong contribution from selective herbicides and seed care in North America. Pricing for the year was positive due to a marked improvement in the second half, when all regions showed higher prices. At constant exchange rates the EBITDA margin at 25.3 percent was 0.6 percent higher than 2010: operational leverage from volume growth and higher prices more than offset continued investments for growth.


Europe, Africa and the Middle East registered strong growth across the region and notably in the emerging markets, with sales in the CIS up by more than 50 percent and good growth in south east Europe. Developed markets, notably France and northern Europe, also delivered a robust performance reflecting the success of new product introductions. North America saw a significantly improved performance in the second half, with volumes up by more than 20 percent and a significant increase in price. Herbicide sales expanded owing to our strength in the management of resistant weeds, while fungicides reflected a higher rate of adoption in corn and soybean. Latin America maintained strong volume growth and positive pricing throughout the year, driven by strong farm economics and our broad product offering. In Asia Pacific we remain at the forefront of the modernization of crop protection usage, with double digit growth in China, India and South East Asia.


In Selective herbicides, we continue to expand our position in the European cereals market with the launch of AXIAL® in France and Iberia. For corn CALLISTO®, now in the market for more than ten years, showed good growth in all regions. In Non-selective herbicides, demand for TOUCHDOWN® increased, notably in Latin America with the expansion of glyphosate-tolerant crops. Fungicides growth demonstrated broad cross-crop potential, with expansion on corn and soybean in North America and rice and vegetables in Asia Pacific. Growth in Insecticides was also broad-based but driven in particular by ACTARA® on corn and soybean in Brazil and DURIVO® on multiple crops in Brazil and Asia Pacific. Seed care sales reflected rapid adoption in the emerging markets and the success of CRUISER® in France. Sales of Professional products reflected good growth in the golf, landscape and consumer businesses.


Blockbuster products: sales of thiamethoxam exceeded $1 billion for the first time, driven by the success of CRUISER® seed treatment and ACTARA® for soil and foliar application. Sales of azoxystrobin (AMISTAR®) were $1.3 billion.


New products: sales of new products, launched since 2006, increased by 50 percent to reach $619 million. Since 2006 Syngenta has launched six new products with a combined peak sales potential of over $1.5 billion. AVICTA®, a seed care nematicide, saw a sharp increase in sales as a result of new launches on corn and soybean as well as expanded use on cotton. Growth in the cereal herbicide AXIAL® was driven by its launch in France and Iberia. Sales of DURIVO®, an insecticide for vegetables and rice, surpassed $150 million and continue to expand rapidly in emerging markets. The fungicide REVUS® is forming part of our leading offers for potatoes. SEGURIS®, the cereal fungicide first launched on barley in 2010, is now expanding into wheat. VIBRANCE™, the first active ingredient to be developed specifically for seed care, was launched in Argentina and received a registration in France.

Seeds

  • Sales $3.2 billion, up 12%*
  • Volume +9%, price +3%
  • EBITDA $544 million (2010: $357 million)
  • EBITDA margin 17.1% (2010: 12.7%)

* At constant exchange rates.

Volume growth was driven by Corn & Soybean and by Diverse Field Crops. Growth has been accompanied by a further substantial improvement in profitability as portfolio enhancement, notably in corn, has led to gross margin expansion. In addition, fixed cost leverage and synergy savings have contributed to an increase in the EBITDA margin to 17.1 percent, or 17.7 percent at constant exchange rates, significantly exceeding the 2011 target of 15 percent set in 2007, when the EBITDA margin was below five percent.


Corn & Soybean sales registered double digit growth in all regions except Asia Pacific, where sales were lower owing to over-supply in South East Asia. In North America, where corn acres expanded, we were able to increase corn market share to around 11 percent reflecting the success of our new technology. The return on the investments made to bring these technologies to market is now increasing through the realization of licensing revenue and through introductions in Latin America. Total sales of corn and soybean seed in Latin America increased by 38 percent and are now benefiting from the marketing and sales leverage arising from integration of the commercial teams.


Sales of Diverse Field Crops reflect the scale of our expansion in high value sunflower. We saw strong growth across the EAME region, and most notably in the emerging markets. Vegetables saw some impact from the economic environment in North America and Europe but good growth continued in other regions. Flowers were also affected by the economic environment, particularly in the fourth quarter.


New products: 2011 was the first full year of introduction in the USA for three proprietary corn traits.
AGRISURE® VIPTERA™ offers unrivalled broad lepidoptera control with an average yield advantage of 9-12 bushels per acre over competitor products. This trait was also successfully introduced in Brazil in the second half of the year and has now received registration in Argentina. AGRISURE® ARTESIAN™ is a native trait for water optimization delivering up to 14 bushels per acre yield improvement in moderate drought conditions. ENOGEN® is the corn industry’s first output trait, offering ethanol manufacturers an 8-11 cent cost saving per gallon of output.


Integrated sales performance:


2011 2010 Actual CER
  $m $m % %
   Europe, Africa & Middle East 3,961 3,402 +16 +12
   North America 3,269 2,953 +11 +10
   Latin America 3,305 2,762 +20 +19
   Asia Pacific 1,885 1,694 +11 +7
 Total 12,420 10,811 +15 +13
   Lawn & Garden 847 807 +5 +1
   Business Development 1 23 - -
 Total Syngenta 13,268 11,641 +14 +12


Integration update: Our business is structured into 19 territories grouped under the four geographic regions against which we report. In 2011 we launched integrated commercial organizations in 16 territories and commercial integration will be complete in all territories by mid-2012, ahead of schedule. Global crop teams are working alongside territory and regional management to develop and maximize an integrated offer by crop.


We realized efficiency gains from the integrated business model of $112 million in 2011. Net annualized savings of $650 million are targeted for 2015, of which around 45 percent will come from SG&A and 55 percent from COGS.


The progress on commercial integration is accelerating the pace at which we can integrate our portfolio, with our sales teams offering customers a combination of seeds, seed care and crop protection. At the same time our R&D organizations have been combined to enable the development of new integrated solutions, and we are building common platforms for production and supply. To reflect the emergence of a combined business, starting with H1 2012 results we will adopt new segment reporting of sales and profitability based on our four geographic regions. Lawn & Garden will be reported as a separate segment on a global basis. We will continue to report sales by product line and region for Crop Protection and Seeds. In addition, we will provide estimated combined sales for each of the eight strategic crops: Cereals, Corn, Diverse Field Crops, Rice, Soybean, Specialty crops, Sugar cane, Vegetables.


Crop pipelines: We have set sales targets for each crop with a combined total of over $22 billion post-2015. These targets comprise growth in the existing portfolio and the launch of new products, with an increasing emphasis on integrated offers reflecting our new R&D and crop team structure.


Performance metrics


Our aim is to gain an average 0.5 percent market share annually across the combined business over the next five years. We target a group EBITDA margin in the range of 22-24 percent by 2015 and aim to continue to deliver Cash Flow Return on Investment in excess of 12 percent. We target a continuous increase in the dividend as the primary form of cash return to shareholders. We will also execute share buybacks on a tactical basis.


Outlook


Mike Mack, Chief Executive Officer, said:


“As we enter the 2012 season, notwithstanding the current economic uncertainty, we look forward to sustained sales growth and further market share gains. The rapid integration of our commercial teams, the success of our first integrated offers in the field and the strong momentum within the Syngenta organization increase our confidence that we will outperform in an expanding market. We also expect the combined business to achieve a further advance in EBITDA margin at constant exchange rates. Strong cash flow generation is expected to continue.”


Crop Protection


  Full Year Growth 4th Quarter Growth
Crop Protection by region 2011 2010 Actual CER 2011 2010 Actual CER
  $m $m % % $m $m % %
Europe, Africa, Mid. East 3,046 2,638 + 15 + 11 364 434 - 16 - 15
North America 2,406 2,185 + 10 + 9 371 260 + 42 + 42
Latin America 2,955 2,509 + 18 + 17 1,224 1,040 + 18 + 18
Asia Pacific 1,755 1,546 + 14 + 9 393 385 + 2 + 2
Total 10,162 8,878 + 14 + 12 2,352 2,119 +11 + 11


Europe, Africa and the Middle East: full year performance was strong reflecting the success of new product launches, including AXIAL® in France and Iberia, and the expansion of CRUISER® in France and the CIS. Dry weather conditions early in the year resulted in some shift from cereal to corn acreage driving increased demand for the insecticides ACTARA® and KARATE® as well as for the herbicide CALLISTO®. Emerging Europe sales grew in excess of 20 percent reflecting the recovery of the CIS markets and full integration of the Dow AgroSciences portfolio. Lower fourth quarter sales, primarily in France, reflected the planned contraction of the morte saison.


North America: an improved channel inventory position combined with determined price actions contributed to a significant improvement in pricing in the second half. In addition, strong demand for selective herbicides resulted in substantial volume growth driven by CALLISTO® for corn and FLEX® for soybean. AMISTAR® sales for the full year were up almost 50 percent, reflecting increased fungicide applications and expanded use for crop enhancement benefits. Sales of AVICTA® nematicide seed care almost doubled following an expansion in use on cotton and the approval for extended application on soybeans.


Latin America extended its record of double digit volume growth augmented by positive pricing. Despite challenging weather conditions towards the end of the fourth quarter sales continued to grow, up 18 percent against a strong prior year quarter. Continued favorable market sentiment, government support for agriculture and recognition of our leading portfolio underpinned full year growth. Insecticide sales were driven by the continued success of DURIVO®, now approved for use on fruit, vegetables and soybean, and of ACTARA®, linked to the replacement of organophosphates. As technification continues in Latin America we are driving increased adoption of seed care with products such as AVICTA® COMPLETE. TOUCHDOWN® sales are also expanding as herbicide-tolerant acres increase.


Asia Pacific has seen strong volume growth across all product lines in the region reflecting the acceleration of technology adoption in emerging Asia, where sales grew by 12 percent. Sales in China were up 11 percent reflecting the launch of DURIVO®, expanded seed care adoption rates and the success of AMISTAR®. In South East Asia continued government support to growers, high rice prices and favorable weather conditions underpinned sales growth across the territory.


  Full Year Growth 4th Quarter Growth
Crop Protection by product line 2011 2010 Actual CER 2011 2010 Actual CER
  $m $m % % $m $m % %
Selective herbicides 2,617 2,308 + 13 + 11 417 386 + 8 + 9
Non-selective herbicides 1,117 987 + 13 + 10 231 163 + 42 + 41
Fungicides 2,998 2,662 + 13 + 10 704 671 + 5 + 5
Insecticides 1,790 1,475 + 21 + 19 496 438 + 13 + 14
Seed care 1,018 838 + 21 + 18 332 267 + 24 + 24
Professional products 511 470 + 9 + 5 136 131 + 4 + 3
Others 111 138 - 19 - 21 36 63 - 42 - 40
Total 10,162 8,878 + 14 + 12 2,352 2,119 +11 + 11

Selective herbicides:

major brands AXIAL®, CALLISTO® family, DUAL®/BICEP® MAGNUM, FUSILADE®MAX, TOPIK®

The cereal herbicide AXIAL® grew significantly in Europe with new launches in France and Iberia. Increased European corn acreage, linked to first half weather conditions, contributed to growth in CALLISTO®. In the USA, CALLISTO® saw strong early bulk-fill sales prompted by the favorable corn price and the need to tackle glyphosate resistant weeds. In the CIS, the integration of the Dow AgroSciences portfolio led to accelerated volume growth.


Non-selective herbicides:

Non-selective Herbicides: major brands GRAMOXONE®, TOUCHDOWN®


Demand for TOUCHDOWN® intensified in Latin America reflecting the increased acreage of glyphosate tolerant crops as well as market share gain; price increases were facilitated by lower channel inventories in Latin America. GRAMOXONE® volumes were also up, notably in North America where sales in the south benefited from concerns relating to glyphosate resistance.


Fungicides:

major brands ALTO®, AMISTAR®, BRAVO®, REVUS®, RIDOMIL GOLD®, SCORE®, TILT®, UNIX®


Fungicides expanded in all regions including Europe, despite dry conditions early in the year which reduced demand and led to some build up of channel inventories. To address this, we reduced fourth quarter sales in some markets, notably France, and now enter the new season with channel inventories at normalized levels. AMISTAR® delivered record sales, up 12 percent; US sales grew by more than 50 percent reflecting increased application rates and the recognition of crop enhancement benefits. AMISTAR® in Asia Pacific continued to grow strongly due to the success of local marketing programs and increased adoption levels in rice.


Insecticides:

major brands ACTARA®, DURIVO®, FORCE®, KARATE®, PROCLAIM®, VERTIMEC®


Sales growth was broad-based across products and geographies, with the largest contribution from Brazil where sales were up by more than 40 percent. ACTARA® growth was primarily driven by use on corn and soybean in Brazil as well as by the replacement of older chemistry. DURIVO® saw sales increase by 85 percent largely driven by Brazil and Asia Pacific. DURIVO® continues to expand its crop focus to include fruit and vegetables, rice, corn and soybean.


Seed Care:

major brands AVICTA®, CRUISER®, DIVIDEND®, MAXIM®, VIBRANCE™


Seed care sales exceeded $1 billion in 2011 demonstrating the continued acceleration in adoption rates, notably in the emerging markets. CRUISER® growth of more than 50 percent in Europe reflected expanded registrations in major markets as well as increased adoption in oilseeds. Growth of AVICTA® nematicide was largely driven by new launches in the USA and Brazil. US growth was fueled by a launch on soybean as well as increased use on cotton. In Brazil the launch on both corn and soybean resulted in sales more than tripling.


Professional Products:

major brands FAFARD®, HERITAGE®, ICON®


Overall professional product sales grew five percent driven primarily by the golf and landscape business and helped by the launch of a new early-order program and new product introductions in North America. Growth in pest management was a result of increased pest pressure in Asia Pacific and Latin America.



Seeds


  Full Year Growth 4th Quarter Growth
Seeds by region 2011 2010 Actual CER 2011 2010 Actual CER
  $m $m % % $m $m % %
Europe, Africa, Mid. East 1,235 1,047 + 18 + 14 105 127 - 18 - 17
North America 1,291 1,203 + 7 + 7 295 276 + 7 + 7
Latin America 410 306 + 34 + 34 118 111 + 6 + 7
Asia Pacific 249 249 - - 1 75 86 - 12 - 9
Total 3,185 2,805 + 14 + 12 593 600 - 1 -

Corn & Soybean:

major brands AGRISURE®, GARST®, GOLDEN HARVEST®, NK®.


The largest contribution to growth came from North America, where enhanced corn germplasm performance and new stacked trait offers drove share gain. Latin America sales were up 38 percent in a rapidly expanding market; this performance reflected the advances in our portfolio, including AGRISURE® VIPTERA™, and the benefit of an integrated sales force. Increased corn acreage underpinned growth in Europe. In Asia Pacific a strong performance in South Asia was offset by over-supply in South East Asia.


Diverse Field Crops:

major brands NK® oilseeds, HILLESHÖG® sugar beet


Diverse Field Crop sales increased significantly with growth largely fueled by emerging markets. Syngenta is the market leader in the high value sunflower segment enabling significant growth and market share gain in the key markets of Russia, Ukraine and Argentina as they shift towards high value genetics. Sugar beet sales continued to grow reflecting the successful integration of the Maribo acquisition. Oilseed rape sales were impacted by lower acreage as a result of adverse weather conditions in Europe.


Vegetables:

major brands DULCINEA®, ROGERS®, S&G®, Zeraim Gedera®


Vegetables sales grew by 10 percent in emerging markets driven primarily by demand for peppers and tomatoes. Performance in Europe, helped in the first half by favorable weather conditions, deteriorated in the second half largely due to the economic situation. The US market remained subdued throughout the year with adverse weather conditions and high opening inventories in the processed sector.


Flowers:

major brands GoldFisch®, Goldsmith Seeds, Yoder®


The continued challenging economic environment impacted flowers sales, most notably in the second half. Asia showed moderate growth driven by Japan.


  Full Year Growth 4th Quarter Growth
Seeds by product line 2011 2010 Actual CER 2011 2010 Actual CER
  $m $m % % $m $m % %
Corn & Soybean 1,470 1,281 + 15 + 14 334 321 + 4 + 5
Diverse Field Crops 676 524 + 29 + 26 77 70 + 10 + 10
Vegetables 703 663 + 6 + 4 131 147 - 11 - 9
Flowers 336 337 - - 3 51 62 - 18 - 18
Total 3,185 2,805 + 14 + 12 593 600 - 1 -

Announcements and Meetings


2011 Annual report publication March 14, 2012
First quarter trading statement 2012 April 18, 2012
AGM April 24, 2012
Crop update May 11, 2012
First half results 2012 July 26, 2012
Crop update September 24-26, 2012
Third quarter trading statement 2012 October 23, 2012

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Syngenta is one of the world's leading companies with more than 26,000 employees in over 90 countries dedicated to our purpose: Bringing plant potential to life. Through world-class science, global reach and commitment to our customers we help to increase crop productivity, protect the environment and improve health and quality of life. For more information about us please go to www.syngenta.com.


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Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefor.

 

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