Dow Agro enjoys double-digit profit growth

Earnings rose 7.6 percent during the fourth quarter at Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences LLC as overall sales shot up 17 percent.

Dow AgroSciences pulled in $156 million in earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization, according to a statement released Thursday by its parent, Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co. A year earlier, Dow AgroSciences earned $145 million in the quarter.

Revenue in the most recent three months totaled $1.6 billion, boosted by 13-percent growth in Dow Agro’s sales volume and 4 percent by higher prices.

Dow Agro’s new Enlist products helped crop-protection sales grow 10 percent. And sales of seeds, seed genetic traits and special oils grew 44 percent.

For the year, Dow Agro posted record revenue of $6.4 billion, up nearly 13 percent from 2011. Earnings before taxes, interest, depreciation and amortization totaled $977 million for the year, a 7-percent increase.

“Our Agricultural Sciences business continues to outperform, driven by its technology pipeline,” CEO Andrew Liveris said in a prepared statement.

Dow Chemical’s fourth-quarter results missed analyst estimates as sales fell in Europe and growth in China slowed.

The company’s losses widened to $716 million, or 61 cents a share, from $20 million, or 2 cents, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Profit excluding restructuring costs and other one-time items was 33 cents per share, falling just below the 34 cents expected by analysts, according to surveys by Bloomberg News and Thomson Reuters.

Sales volumes in Europe fell 5 percent amid an economic slowdown in the 17-nation euro region. That decline dampened the benefit of lower raw-material costs in the United States.

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