January 4, 2018 / 4:04 PM / 5 months ago

Monsanto's profit rises, expects weed killer prices to rise

(Reuters) - U.S. seeds and agrochemicals company Monsanto Co forecast a strong year ahead, helped by higher pricing for a key chemical used in pesticides and better demand for Soybean globally.

FILE PHOTO: Monsanto logo is displayed on a screen where the stock is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S. on May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The company, which is being acquired by Germany’s Bayer AG, said pricing for glyphosate, the chief ingredient in its top-selling weed killer “Roundup”, was set to go up this year.

The results come a day after Monsanto won support from 11 U.S. states in its attempt to stop California from requiring cancer warnings on products containing glyphosate.

Monsanto said on Thursday that sales at its agricultural unit - its second biggest by revenue - rose 11 percent, mainly helped by glyphosate pricing.

Sales of soybean seeds jumped 21.3 percent to $728 million, lifting overall net sales marginally to $2.66 billion in the first quarter.

Monsanto is banking on newer varieties of seeds to dominate soybean production in the United States, the world’s second-largest exporter.

Net profit attributable to Monsanto rose to $169 million, or 38 cents per share, in the first quarter ended Nov. 30, from $29 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest quarter included a one-time gain from asset sales.

The company’s shares were up 0.5 percent at $118 in early trading on Thursday.

Reporting by Akshara P in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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