February 7, 2018 / 7:54 AM / 5 months ago

Novozymes Q4 operating profit misses estimates on weak agri markets

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Danish enzymes maker Novozymes reported fourth-quarter operating profit below market expectations on Wednesday due to challenging situation in agriculture markets.

Fourth quarter earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) fell 4 percent to 1.02 billion Danish crowns ($169.85 million), missing the 1.07 billion crown expected by analysts.

Revenue declined 1 percent to 3.67 billion crowns.

“Sales of microbes to the agricultural industry declined, primarily due to slow pick-up in demand in the fourth quarter of 2017 after a very strong Q3. Farm economics continue to be under pressure and impact sales negatively,” Novozymes said in a statement.

Novozymes increased its 2017 dividend by 12.5 percent to 4.50 crowns per share, well above market expectations of 4.19 crowns.

The company said it expects 2018 organic sales growth between 4 and 6 percent. It reported 4 percent growth in 2017.

$1 = 6.0052 Danish crowns Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki; Editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan

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