Syngenta reports higher annual sales, earnings as it prepares for float

ZURICH, April 7 (Reuters) - Syngenta Group, the Swiss agrichemical and seeds company owned by ChemChina, on Wednesday reported higher sales and operating income for 2020 as it prepares for a flotation in the next 18 months.

Sales rose 5% to $23.1 billion, despite weaker currencies in India and Brazil, among others, reducing reported sales by $1.5 billion. When the effect of currency movements was removed, Syngenta said its sales increased by 12%.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 3% to $4 billion from $3.9 billion a year earlier.

State-owned ChemChina, which bought Syngenta for $43 billion in 2017, last year merged the Swiss firm with Israel’s ADAMA and the fertiliser and seed business of Sinochem, another of China’s state-owned chemical firms.

Syngenta said all of its businesses had increased sales, and had managed supply chain disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic through their local structure.

The company also benefited from higher commodity prices allowing farmers to invest in its fertilisers, seeds and pesticides, as well as the further roll-out of sales and advice centres for farmers in China to improve their production.

The company said its plans to float remained in place.

“We have previously said that we planned on an IPO by mid-2022. We remain on track to achieve this target,” said spokesman Saswato Das. (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)