Strong full year free cash flow generation and fourth quarter sales
- Sales $12.8 billion: 2 percent lower at constant exchange rates
- up 1 percent excluding Brazil sales terms change and 2015 corn trait royalty
- reported sales 5 percent lower
- Q4 regional sales up 7 percent excluding corn trait royalty
- EBITDA $2.7 billion: margin 20.8 percent (2015: 20.7 percent)
- 130 bps improvement excluding corn trait royalty
- $320 million savings from Accelerating Operational Leverage (AOL) program
- Earnings per share1 $17.03 (2015: $17.78)
- Free cash flow $1.4 billion (2015: $0.8 billion)
- ChemChina transaction expected to close in second quarter of 2017
- AGM scheduled in June; no regular dividend proposed
Reported Financial Highlights
1 Excluding restructuring and impairment; EPS on a fully diluted basis.
2 At constant exchange rates
Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer, said:
"In 2016, Syngenta showed a resilient performance in the face of another difficult year for the agriculture industry, with crop prices remaining low and grower profitability under pressure in many areas. The announcement of the transaction with ChemChina promises continuity for the future and has allowed our people to remain focused on delivering their business goals.
We saw an encouraging sales performance in the fourth quarter, with regional sales up 7 percent excluding the non-recurring corn trait royalty received in 2015. Europe showed excellent growth, resulting in a solid performance for the full year despite very adverse weather in the second quarter. Asia Pacific continued its recovery as the effects of El Nino receded. North and Latin America both showed moderate growth excluding the corn trait royalty.
With regard to profitability, we met our target of maintaining the EBITDA margin at the 2015 level. Excluding the $200 million headwind from the corn trait royalty, the EBITDA margin increased by 130 basis points. This reflects the successful implementation of the AOL program, which again delivered savings ahead of target, and our ability to capture price increases.
Innovation also played an important role in 2016 with a number of new product launches. In the USA, our new corn herbicide ACURON™, providing growers with an effective solution for weed resistance, achieved sales of over $200 million. We saw the further geographic expansion of SOLATENOL™ based fungicides and the registration of ADEPIDYN™ in Argentina. In Seeds, the unparalleled performance of our VIPTERA™ trait drove an increase in corn market share in Brazil. These all demonstrate the importance of our investment in R&D, which has been recognized by ChemChina and which will continue under their ownership."
Syngenta is a leading agriculture company helping to improve global food security by enabling millions of farmers to make better use of available resources. Through world class science and innovative crop solutions, our 28,000 people in over 90 countries are working to transform how crops are grown. We are committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities. To learn more visit www.syngenta.com and www.goodgrowthplan.com. Follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/Syngenta
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This document contains forward-looking statements, which can be identified by terminology such as ‘expect’, ‘would’, ‘will’, ‘potential’, ‘plans’, ‘prospects’, ‘estimated’, ‘aiming’, ‘on track’ and similar expressions. Such statements may be subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially from these statements. We refer you to Syngenta's publicly available filings with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission for information about these and other risks and uncertainties. Syngenta assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changed assumptions or other factors. This document does not constitute, or form part of, any offer or invitation to sell or issue, or any solicitation of any offer, to purchase or subscribe for any ordinary shares in Syngenta AG, or Syngenta ADSs, nor shall it form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with, any contract therefor.