Dow Agro sales surge on healthy ag market

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Sales at Dow AgroSciences grew 14 percent in the first quarter, to $1.8 billion, the company announced Thursday. Sales were helped by an early planting season in North America and a buoyant agricultural market due to high commodity prices.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, totaled $451 million, an 11-percent increase over the same quarter a year ago.

Dow AgroSciences enjoyed double-digit growth in both its major product segments. Crop-protection products saw 14-percent higher sales compared with the first quarter last year and sales of Dow’s array of seeds, seed traits and oils grew 16 percent.

Dow AgroSciences, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, is a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co., the world's largest chemical company.

Dow Chemical's first-quarter earnings fell 50 percent after it took a pre-tax charge of $357 million to close some of its plants. The  company reported earnings of $412 million, or 35 cents per share, from January to March. That compares with $625 million, or 54 cents per share, for the same period of 2011. Revenue was flat at $14.7 billion.

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