27 July 1999 16:12 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (CNI)--Monsanto's second quarter profits rose 34% compared with the same period last year with the company Tuesday crediting strong performances from its agricultural and pharmaceuticals businesses.
"Our performance so far this year is further evidence that our strategies are valid and that we're executing them effectively in the marketplace," said Robert Shapiro, Monsanto's top executive. He cited both the success of the Celebrex arthritis drug and growth from core businesses such as Roundup herbicide.
For the quarter, the St Louis, Missouri life sciences company posted net income of $344m (Euro324.5m) on a 23% climb in sales to a record $2.6bn. Diluted earnings/share climbed to 53 cent from 41 cent for the same period last year.
And earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation registered a record $641m for the second quarter compared with $372m in that category for the second quarter of last year.
Sales in Monsanto's agricultural sector increased 14% to $1.6bn, led by strong demand for Roundup herbicide. The company noted that the total US acres planted with crops containing Monsanto biotechnology traits climbed 38% so far this year compared with the total of acres planted the same time a year ago.
Celebrex led pharmaceutical sales to a 54% increase over the same period last year. Monsanto reported pharmaceutical operating profits of $256m on record sales of $937m compared with profits of $15m on sales of $607m for the second quarter of 1998.
Monsanto noted its net income figures for the second quarter and first half in both 1999 and 1998 includes income from discontinued operations. The company announced on 1 July plans to divest its artificial sweetener and biogum businesses - a process which is under way. As a result, Monsanto has reclassified those businesses as discontinued operations.
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