BASEL, Switzerland -- Syngenta reported that sales in the third quarter of 2006 increased by 1 percent to $1.41 billion; at constant exchange rates (CER) sales were unchanged.

For the first nine months sales were 1 percent lower (CER) at $6.61 billion.

In Crop Protection, third quarter sales rose 2 percent CER). In the low season in the northern hemisphere, sales in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were higher with further growth in Eastern Europe; in NAFTA, sales were lower reflecting a challenging environment in the United States.

Growth slowed somewhat in Latin America in difficult market conditions in Brazil. Broad based growth was achieved in Asia Pacific.

For the first nine months, sales of new products rose 20 percent to $784 million. In the quarter, fungicides sales were higher following an inventory adjustment in the U.S. in 2005. Lower sales of selective herbicides reflected timing differences between the last two quarters. Insecticides sales were lower in comparison with a strong performance last year. In Professional Products, Conrad Fafard Inc. was consolidated in the quarter.

Seeds sales were 5 percent lower in the quarter. In Corn and Soybean, higher corn sales in the U.S. were more than offset by lower soybean sales due to end of season channel adjustments. Sales in Latin America were lower primarily due to reduced acreage in Brazil. Diverse Field Crops again generated strong growth, notably in Eastern Europe. Vegetables and Flowers also delivered a good performance driven, in particular, by the expanding demand for fresh produce in NAFTA and double-digit growth in the developing markets of Asia Pacific.

For the full year 2006, the company continues to target double-digit growth in earnings per share (fully diluted, before restructuring, impairment and share repurchase

Syngenta is a world-leading agribusiness committed to sustainable agriculture through innovative research and technology. The company is a leader in crop protection, and ranks third in the high-value commercial seeds market. Sales in 2005 were approximately $8.1 billion. Syngenta employs some 19,000 people in more than 90 countries.

SOURCE: Syngenta via PR Newswire.