21 January 1999 16:31 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Monsanto reported Thursday an after-tax loss of $250m (Euro214m) for 1998 due to charges for restructuring, acquired in-process research and development, and other unusual items.
Excluding those items, however, the St Louis, Missouri life sciences company said it would have posted income of $580m for the year for an increase of 23% over the $470m in net income for 1997.
Focusing on the fourth quarter, Monsanto recorded an after-tax loss of $603m. But the company noted that, without deductions for the extraordinary items, it would have posted income of $27m for the quarter - for more than five times the profits of $5m during the same period of 1997.
Monsanto tallied a 15% boost in sales for the year with $8.6bn worth. In the quarter, the company registered sales of $2.1bn for a 16% jump over the quarter for 1997.
In the fourth quarter, Monsanto reported pretax restructuring and special charges of $625m to cover the costs of eliminating 1700 jobs in 1999, writing down assets for sale and the disposal of non-strategic assets and product lines.
For the future, Monsanto expects these expenses to translate into annual pretax savings of $160m. Monsanto said the cost savings from these 1998 expenses will be fully integrated within 20 months.
Besides those costs, Monsanto also reported $233m worth of R&D expenses during the last quarter with most that stemming from its purchase of DeKalb Genetics, Plant Breeding International Cambridge Limited, and the international seed operations of Cargill.
For the year, Monsanto invested a total of $2.1bn for growth spending on items including research and technology, major product developments, and new product launches.
By segment for the year at Monsanto, sales of agricultural products increased 23% to $4bn, and pharmaceutical revenues grew 18% to $2.9bn. But nutritional and consumer products sales fell 1.2% to $1.5bn.
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