2008 Accomplishments Provide Continuing Springboard for Growth in 2009 and
NEW YORK, June 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Monsanto's international seed brands serve as an ideal launching pad that positions the company for new launches of biotechnology traits with significant scale and ramp-up speed, Brett Begemann, Monsanto's executive vice president of global commercial, will tell investors today at the Merrill Lynch Agricultural Chemicals Conference in New York.
Begemann will cite the examples of Argentina and Brazil, where the company recently received separate regulatory approvals for corn biotechnology traits. In Argentina, Monsanto received the first-ever approval for a double-stack trait combination, YieldGard Corn Borer with Roundup Ready Corn 2, and plans to offer the combination on more than 1 million acres in its year of introduction. Likewise, Monsanto received planting approval for the YieldGard Corn Borer trait in Brazil and is planning for a 1 million to 2 million acre launch for the upcoming 2008-2009 season.
"If you combine the scale of our seed businesses in Argentina and Brazil with our proven ability to deliver traits, we're in the best competitive position to enter new trait markets quickly and with an immediate financial benefit," said Begemann. "These two approvals came a year ahead of our original plan, accelerating this opportunity and giving us what we believe is a significant first-mover advantage that translates to an enduring advantage in these new markets."
Begemann's comments will be part of a broader update on the company's five-year growth plan, which targets doubling the company's 2007 gross profit by 2012. With the company's third quarter just completed, Begemann will indicate that the company's 2008 progress on its six identified growth drivers continues to set the stage for further growth in 2009 and beyond. Monsanto will report its third-quarter earnings on June 25, and will provide further strategic updates at that point.
At today's conference, Begemann will highlight developments in key
areas of the company's growth drivers. These include:
-- U.S. corn business: With U.S. planting nearing completion, Monsanto
remains on track with its 2-3 share point gains in its DEKALB corn
seed business and complementary 1-2 share point gains in its American
Seeds, Inc. businesses. Paired with increased trait penetration,
especially for triple stacks, Monsanto is setting the stage for the
introduction of its new SmartStax trait platform for corn expected in
2010, Begemann said.
-- International corn: In addition to the new biotech trait launches in
Latin America, Monsanto has strengthened its corn seed position in its
key international markets. Notably, in Argentina, Monsanto brands
have gained 5 shares points, ahead of the original expectation of 1-2
share point gain. In Brazil, where Monsanto targeted holding share in
2008, its seed brands met the objective and are poised for growth in
2009. In expanding markets in the European Union and India, Monsanto
brands fell short of the original 1-2 share-point gain target, but
retain strong positions and good momentum for renewed growth in 2009.
-- Soybeans: Monsanto remains on target for its planned 1 million to 2
million acre pre-commercial launch of its Roundup Ready 2 Yield
platform in 2009 in the United States, with significant seed bulk up
and final commercial testing underway in 2008 to support the roll out
-- Cotton: In the United States, Monsanto's cotton business continues to
be a turnaround story, with the Deltapine seed brand expected to lose
share in 2008 and stabilize at a level of approximately 33-36 percent.
With new seed varieties in testing and a more aggressive trait ramp-up
program, Monsanto is re-establishing the base for renewed growth in
the Deltapine brand.
Begemann will emphasize that Monsanto's growth will continue to come from innovation, with a focus on developing new products and technology that create value for farmers and the value chain by improving the productivity of acres that are being farmed.
"What I believe we do better than anyone else is to apply our technology to increase on-farm yields," said Begemann. "As a leading technology provider in agriculture, our products work to create more grain at a lower cost with less risk to serve the collective needs for feed, food and fuel across crops."
Begemann's presentation slides and simultaneous audio webcast of the presentation may be accessed by visiting the company's web site at http://www.monsanto.com/investors. Following today's live broadcast set for 2 p.m. ET, a replay of the webcast will be available for two weeks through this same link.
Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality. For more information on Monsanto, see: http://www.monsanto.com/.
Cautionary Statements Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
Certain statements contained in this release are "forward-looking statements," such as statements concerning the company's anticipated financial results, current and future product performance, regulatory approvals, business and financial plans and other non-historical facts. These statements are based on current expectations and currently available information. However, since these statements are based on factors that involve risks and uncertainties, the company's actual performance and results may differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among others: continued competition in seeds, traits and agricultural chemicals; the company's exposure to various contingencies, including those related to intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance and the speed with which approvals are received, and public acceptance of biotechnology products; the success of the company's research and development activities; the outcomes of major lawsuits; developments related to foreign currencies and economies; successful operation of recent acquisitions; fluctuations in commodity prices; compliance with regulations affecting our manufacturing; the accuracy of the company's estimates related to distribution inventory levels; the company's ability to fund its short-term financing needs and to obtain payment for the products that it sells; the effect of weather conditions, natural disasters and accidents on the agriculture business or the company's facilities; and other risks and factors detailed in the company's most recent periodic report to the SEC. Undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements, which are current only as of the date of this release. The company disclaims any current intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements or any of the factors that may affect actual results.
Note to editor: DEKALB, Deltapine, SmartStax, Roundup Ready, and Roundup Ready 2 Yield are trademarks of Monsanto Company and its wholly owned subsidiaries.
|SOURCE Monsanto Company|
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