Shares in Syngenta touched a record high after group the lifted
its sales target, citing its increased potential in rice, a crop in which it is
beefing up its presence through the acquisition of Devgen.
Syngenta, the world's biggest agrichemicals group, lifted to
$25bn its forecast for sales of its eight strategic crop groups at the end of the
decade, up from a figure of $22bn when the target was revealed in February.
The upgrade followed a lift in May to estimates for corn and
cereals sales - to more than $2.8bn and more than $5.0bn respectively- and on
Monday an upward revision to its forecasts for rice and vegetable sales, to a
Syngenta shares hit an all-time high of SFr348.40 a tonne in
morning deals, before easing to close at SFr344.00 a tonne, a rise of
SFr0.1 on the day.
Mike Mack, the Syngenta chief executive, said that the revision
reflected the success of a shake-up which ditched the historic divisions between the group's seed and agrichemicals divisions, to create products aimed
at a more unified approach to meeting farmers' needs.
"Since we announced our new strategy in February 2011 we
have focused on the rapid integration of our commercial teams and on
broad-based innovation," he said.
"I am pleased to say that success in both these areas has
enabled us to increase our expectations for future growth across our eight
It also follows the group's announcement on Friday, in the
latest of three deals within the agrichemical sector in three days, of the E403m takeover of rice and plant technology group Devgen.
Syngenta said at the time that the deal boost its ability to
offer "the next generation of hybrid rice". The grain is "critical to global
food security", the group added.
The data was well received by investors at Deutsche Bank,
who noted that the statistics implied compound annual growth of 7.3% up to
2010, ahead of the bank's target of 5.8%.
"It is worth highlighting that the $25 billion sales
target is only for the eight key crops," the bank said, stating that "other
crops also have the potential to grow at a similar rate" and sticking with a "buy"
rating on Syngenta shares.
The eight key crop segments are: corn, oilseeds and sugar beet, soybeans, sugar cane, rice, lawn and garden, cereals and vegetables.