Monsanto to Lay Off 900 After Earnings Drop

Net income fell 14%

Biotech giant Monsanto said on June 24 it would cut 900 jobs as part of restructuring to cope with tough economic times as it reported a 14% fall in quarterly net income.

The planned revamp included creation of a separate division for its herbicide business, "which is expected to enable the company to better align spending and working capital needs," Monsanto said.

It said restructuring plans will see "a reduction of approximately 900 employees across the entire company" to "vary from country to country and will be less than four percent of the company's global workforce."

"The actions announced today will allow our company to better navigate in today's changing business environment and keep the company on a clear path for growth," said Monsanto chief executive Hugh Grant.

Monsanto said its net income for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009 was down 14% to $694 million from the same period last year. Its net sales of $3.2 billion was 11% lower.

The quarterly results reflected decreased revenues from the company's Roundup and other agricultural herbicides.

However Grant remained optimistic. "Our 2009 fiscal year represents a milestone for our business as our seeds and traits business alone will deliver more gross profit than all of Monsanto did in 2007, a remarkable achievement in just two short years," he said. The company sees a "doubling gross profit for the entire company from the 2007 base of $4.2 billion to roughly $8.6 to $8.8 billion in 2012," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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