Crop protection giant returns to profit

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Martyn Fisher

BY MARTYN FISHER

Crop protection giant returns to profit

Dow AgroSciences makes a pre-tax profit of nearly £20m in the most recent financial year, despite a slump in UK sales

Crop protection giant returns to profit

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Dow AgroSciences has grown its turnover and posted a return to profit in the UK.

According to accounts published on Companies House, the global pesticide giant recorded a pre-tax profit of £19.2 million for the year ending 31 December 2013 - up from a loss of nearly £8.2m the previous year.

Last year's turnover, meanwhile, was £155 million - up from just under £150m.

However, despite a strong performance in the second half of 2013, full-year UK sales were down on the previous year, though strong sales to other georgraphical regions - particularly North America - compensated for the dip.

Scott Boothey, Dow AgroSciences' MD for UK and Ireland, said: "Although the start of 2013 was difficult, coming out of a severe winter, where crop area had been reduced, the spring season still generated sound sales under these conditions.

"We saw a return to more normal weather in the second half of the year, where autumn 2013 was a much better planting season, with crop areas up, and excellent crop establishment. This provided the domestic UK market with increased sales opportunities for the second half of the year."

Dow AgroSciences - which is a subsidiary of the Dow Chemical Company - can trace its roots to 1897. Today, it employs more than 8,000 people worldwide, and its 2013 global sales were $7.1 billion.

As for what the future holds for its UK arm, Boothey added: "Sales for 2014 are expected to grow above the levels achieved in 2013, with growth in all geographic areas.

"A continuation of 2013 industry momentum is anticipated, although it may be tempered by a level of uncertainty around crop commodity prices, especially in the Americas.

"The longer-term outlook for the UK and Europe is strong, with new product launches in insecticides, herbicides and fungicides planned over the coming years."

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