Cold North America weather to hit FMC results in Q1, company warns

18 March 2014 15:40 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--FMC expects that the extended cold weather period in North America will hurt profits in its agricultural solutions business in the first quarter of 2014, the diversified US-based chemicals firm warned on Tuesday.

However, the company maintained its full-year outlook for the segment.

FMC said that operating profit in agricultural solutions "will be down mid-20's percent" from the 2013 first quarter when the segment recorded income from continuing operations before income taxes of $163.3m.

The cold weather resulted in a "timing shift", leading to "a later than usual demand pattern" for its crop protection products, FMC said.

However, the company said that it did not change its full-year outlook for its agricultural solutions segment. Rather, it continues to expect a "mid-teens percent" growth in revenues and operating profits in the segment, it said.

"We continue to see extremely strong demand for our products in North America," said CEO Pierre Brondeau.

"Last year, we saw how quickly growers can apply crop protection products and plant seeds, and we expect a similar situation to occur as soon as the fields are ready," he said.

"Unfortunately, agricultural seasons do not always match quarterly reporting periods, he said.

"We are confident that the first-quarter performance merely reflects a timing shift, and we remain confident in our full-year outlook for the agricultural solutions segment," Brondeau added.

By Stefan Baumgarten