WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- J. Erik Fyrwald, group vice president - DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition, addressed industry analysts and investors attending the Goldman Sachs Eighth Annual Agricultural Forum today in New York City. Fyrwald discussed recent performance in the Agriculture & Nutrition platform, as well as drivers of future growth.
"The DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition platform continues to outpace the competition," said Fyrwald. "We achieved significant growth for the second straight year while positioning ourselves for another great year in 2004," said Fyrwald. "Our focus is clear: serve the customer and drive profitable growth."
Fyrwald reported that revenue for the platform grew by 33 percent in 2003 with a 21 percent increase in earnings. This performance was driven by strong penetration in seed products containing input traits, strong growth in crop protection specialty markets, significant cost reductions, and superb operating discipline.
Growth in Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. was driven by strong demand for its seed products with biotech traits. Fyrwald noted that Pioneer is in the midst of the largest technology launch in its 77-year history. The 2004 new product portfolio includes new elite genetics, new insecticide seed treatments, new biotech traits and new combinations of biotech traits.
DuPont extended its reach into the soy food business in 2003 with the creation of The Solae Company, a DuPont majority owned joint venture with Bunge Ltd. DuPont also acquired Griffin LLC in 2003, enabling the Crop Protection business to offer a complete product line for cotton and potato farmers. Fyrwald said that integration efforts for each of these acquisitions are meeting targets and progressing well.
Referencing the company's focus on emerging markets, Fyrwald noted that in 2003 the Agriculture & Nutrition segment showed exceptional growth in Brazil. Segment revenues grew 58 percent and earnings grew 160 percent, with strong contributions from Pioneer, Crop Protection and The Solae Company. Fyrwald said that DuPont sees Brazil as an important growth market for the Agriculture & Nutrition segment, and expects continued growth investments in the region.
Fyrwald also reviewed the development pipeline for Pioneer, pointing out the broad range of elite germplasm, seed traits and trait combinations that are in development for near- and long-term commercialization. He highlighted some examples, including drought tolerant corn and soybeans with healthier oil (no trans-fatty acids and lower linolenic content).
The presentation will be archived on the website for future reference in the Investor Center at http://www.dupont.com/.
DuPont is a science company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by solving problems and creating solutions that make people's lives better, safer and easier. Operating in more than 70 countries, the company offers a wide range of products and services to markets including agriculture, nutrition, electronics, communications, safety and protection, home and construction, transportation and apparel.