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DuPont Expects Strong 2010 Agriculture & Nutrition Sales Growth, Margin Expansion
Date:2/10/2010

NEW YORK, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- DuPont (NYSE: DD) Executive Vice President James C. Borel said he expects the DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition segment to grow sales by 10 percent in 2010 and increase pre-tax operating income margin across the seed, crop protection, and nutrition and health businesses.  

"Our focus on customers and investing to meet their needs is paying off," Borel said at the Goldman Sachs 14th Annual Agricultural Biotech Forum.  "We expect 2010 to be just as successful as 2009 with further market share gains, net price increases, margin expansion and continued advancements in the pipeline to support longer-term growth."

North America Seed Orders Up

Borel said seed order books are running ahead of last year's pace and suggest another 1 to 2 point gain in global seed corn market share.  "In North America, we're seeing double-digit volume growth in orders from growers who purchased from us last year," Borel said.

He attributed the growth to another season of strong product performance and the company's "right product, right acre" approach to the market.  Yield comparisons show strong advantages for Pioneer® brand double-stacked hybrids compared to competitive double and triple stacked hybrids.  "We are very pleased with the 2010 new hybrid class, which is showing strong yield advantages across all maturities," said Borel.

Pioneer® brand soybeans developed with Accelerated Yield Technology or the AYT™ System continue to drive a Pioneer yield advantage over competitive varieties with the latest competitive technology.  In 2009 growing season comparisons, Pioneer® brand soybeans with the original Roundup Ready® gene have on average a 2.7 bushel per acre yield advantage against varieties from competitors with the new Genuity™ Roundup Ready® 2 Yield® technology.

New Crop Protection Products Drive Growth

"DuPont™ Rynaxypyr® insecticide sales are expected to be over $300 million in 2010, a year ahead of plan," said Borel.  "Products powered by Rynaxypyr® are registered in 50 countries and the company expects to achieve registration for the chemistry in 25 additional countries by 2011."

Borel expects share gains for DuPont Crop Protection in Asia, fueled by grower demand for Rynaxypyr® and other DuPont leading insect control products – DuPont™ Lannate®, and indoxacarb.  The company also has renewed crop protection offerings in corn and soybeans for farmers in North America, Europe, and Latin America.

Robust Product Pipeline

"The momentum we're seeing today will be sustained in the years to come by our customer centric approach to the market and the robust product pipeline we have coming out of our research organization," said Borel.

Borel said that the company's Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 insect protection system is expected to receive regulatory approval in time for U.S. spring planting.  Upon regulatory approval, Optimum® AcreMax™ 1 products would be the seed industry's first refuge-in-the-bag insect control solution for growers that increases farm yields and eliminates the need for farmers to plant a separate structured corn rootworm refuge.  He expects Optimum® AcreMax™ 2 insect protection, which further simplifies refuge management and increases yield potential, to be introduced in 2012.

Both the Drought Tolerance I and the Drought Tolerance II traits for corn advanced in the research pipeline.

Researchers are seeing a response to further integration of enabling technology like the AYT™ System in corn. They are seeing a more than 7 bushel per acre yield advantage over competitive hybrids for the 2011 class of new corn hybrids.  The 2012 class is showing a more than 10 bushel per acre yield advantage over competitive hybrids.

Crop Protection has new products that have moved to pre-launch or launch across its market segments – herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and products for professional pest and turf management.

A number of other products and enabling technology in corn, soybeans, canola, and rice advanced in the pipeline this past year.  An overview of the research pipeline was included in Borel's presentation, which is available on the DuPont Investor Center at www.dupont.com.

DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition Growth

Borel said DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition is on track to deliver 15 percent compounded annual pre-tax earnings growth between 2007-2012, he said.

Key drivers for that growth include:

  • North America corn and soybean volume, share and value
  • Leadership in international seed markets
  • New crop protection products
  • Food and nutrition opportunities
  • Production and technology innovations  

DuPont is a science-based products and services company.  Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere.  Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.

Forward-Looking Statements:  This news release contains forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations, estimates and projections.  The company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements as a result of future developments or new information.  All statements that address expectations or projections about the future, including statements about the company's strategy for growth, product development, market position, expected expenditures and financial results are forward-looking statements.  Some of the forward-looking statements may be identified by words like "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "intends," "projects," "indicates," and similar expressions.  These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions.  Many factors, including those discussed more fully elsewhere in this release and in DuPont's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly its latest annual report on Form 10-K, as well as others, could cause results to differ materially from those stated.  These factors include, but are not limited to changes in the laws, regulations, policies and economic conditions of countries in which the company does business; competitive pressures; successful integration of structural changes, including acquisitions, divestitures and alliances; research and development of new products, including regulatory approval and market acceptance, and seasonality of sales of agricultural products.

The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™, Pioneer®, Rynaxypyr®, AYT™, Lannate®, and Optimum® AcreMax™, are registered trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.

Roundup Ready® and Genuity™ is a registered trademark used under license from Monsanto Company.

SOURCE DuPont

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