September 8, 2013
Bayer CropScience to boost annual sales to US$13 billion in 2015
Bayer CropScience is set to grow annual sales towards €9 billion (US$12 billion) in 2013 and towards €10 billion (US$13.2 billion) in 2015.
"Since 2007 we have continuously expanded our business with record sales, and we are optimistic about the future development," said Bayer CropScience CEO Liam Condon at the company's annual press conference in Monheim, Germany. Against the background of strong demand for its products, the company is adding €1 billion (US$1.3 billion) to its investment programme, bringing total capital expenditures for the period 2013-16 to approximately €2.4 billion (US$3.2 billion).
As a result of the accelerated investment programme, the production volume of key active ingredients for crop protection products is expected to increase significantly. "Many industries today are facing overproduction. At Bayer CropScience, we are in a completely different situation: A growing global population, changing diets and increasing weather volatility are affecting food supply and need to be addressed today," said Condon.
"Demand from farmers for our products is increasing so strongly that we're significantly stepping up our supply chain capacity to serve farmers around the world with much needed innovative agricultural solutions," added Liam Condon
One integral element of Bayer CropScience's investment plans is the construction of a new plant in Mobile/Alabama for the production of the herbicide glufosinate-ammonium, marketed in the US under the brand name Liberty™. The start-up of the new plant is anticipated probably for the fourth quarter of 2015, in time for the 2016 growing season. "With about €380 million (US$501 million) earmarked for this new facility, this is the biggest single construction project in the history of Bayer CropScience," said Condon. Along with capacity expansion projects currently under way at other sites, this new facility will contribute significantly to the company's target of more than doubling global product supply for this important active ingredient.
The increased production of Liberty™ will help to fight weed resistance, a key challenge for modern agriculture. Liberty™ is the only non-selective herbicide that controls weeds resistant to the most used herbicide, glyphosate. About 50% of the farmers in the USA have experienced weed resistance on their fields, and the situation is worsening further not only in the US but also around the world.
Bayer CropScience is addressing this problem with its unique expertise in R&D, the most diverse herbicide portfolio in the industry, diagnostics and monitoring, and by promoting an Integrated Weed Management (IWM) approach. IWM techniques such as crop rotation, the use of herbicides with different modes of action - glufosinate-ammonium being one of the cornerstones - and rotation of herbicide-tolerant traits help growers to manage or delay weed resistance, as no single strategy will be completely effective on its own.
In addition to the ramp-up of its supply chain capacity in crop protection, another element of the company's growth plan is the implementation of its seeds strategy. Bayer CropScience plans to further strengthen its position in established crops such as vegetables, rice, oilseed rape and cotton, and to build up significant market positions in soy and wheat.
Condon highlighted the soy cyst nematode trait currently under development at Bayer CropScience. He also announced the planned launch of the global Bayer CropScience soy brand Credenz™ for late 2014 in North and South America.
A second seed investment focus for the company is wheat, the world's most important staple crop. Here, Bayer CropScience is building a leading global wheat breeding network, with the objective of developing high-yielding varieties adapted to local growing conditions. First varieties are expected to come to market in 2015.
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. It is one of the world's leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture.