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Makhteshim Agan Industries beats analyst forecasts with $12m profit for Q3

Sales to South America crept up 3.4% despite policy of being picky about customers

Agrochemicals company Makhteshim Agan Industries beat analyst forecasts with $12 million profit for the third quarter, 23% more than in the same period last year, when the company netted $9.8 million.

This is the seventh sequential quarter of growth for the company.

Revenue rose by a thin 1.4% to $222 million, with growth truncated by the steep drop in the Brazilian real.

For the first nine months of the year MAI reported that profit grew 20% from the parallel to $46.7 million. Revenue rose to $662.6 million, 5% than in the parallel period of last year.

Third-quarter sales of new products increased to $50.3 million, compared with $32.3 million in the corresponding quarter of 2000.

In agrochemical sales, the contribution of new products was 25.6%, up from 17.3% in the third quarter last year ¿ an increase of 54.8%.

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Third-quarter sales to Western Europe rose to $54.8 million, 13.4% more than in the parallel quarter, mainly due to new product lines that MAI bought during the first quarter from Syngenta and Aventis CropScience of the Aventis (NYSE:AVE) group.

MAI wrote in its financial statement that it predicts a boost in sales after the merger between Aventis CropScience and Bayer in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, MAI means to focus on acquiring products to offer to Europe and North America. The company aims to step up activity in Germany, Scandinavia, the United States and Poland.

Despite the erosion in the Brazilian real and the company's policy of being picky about its South American customers, third-quarter sales to that continent rose to $115.1 million, 3.4% more than in the third quarter of 2000.

Growth was generated by the introduction of new products, further growth in the sales of the company¿s first proprietary product ¿ the Rimon line of pesticides, and an increase in the sales of veteran products.

Makhteshim Agan noted that the third quarter is typically a peak sales season in the southern hemisphere, though sales typically slow in the northern hemisphere.