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(Reuters) - Pesticide and seed maker Corteva Inc on Tuesday reported better-than-expected profit and revenue and raised its net sales forecast for the year, helped by strong demand for its herbicides and insecticides.
The company, spun off in 2019 after a merger of Dow Chemical and Dupont, has laid off employees and retired some assets to cut costs as it faces increased competition in North America, a weaker Brazilian real and sharper focus from shareholders after a battle with activist investor Starboard Value LP.
First-quarter net sales rose 6%, with strong demand for its new products including Arylex, Enlist and Rinskor herbicides and Isoclast and Pyraxal insecticides.
Record corn and sunflower volume in Europe, Middle East and Africa regions, along with strong Safrinha sales in Brazil buoyed seed sales.
Corteva said it now expects net sales for the full year to range between $14.6 billion and $14.8 billion, compared to between $14.4 billion and $14.6 billion forecast earlier.
The company reaffirmed its expectation for operating earnings to range between $1.85 and $1.95 per share.
Corteva, however, warned that it experienced cost increases in freight and logistics, as well as raw materials, as global economies reopen after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Operating earnings per share of 79 cents for the first quarter beat estimates of 65 cents, while organic sales of $4.20 billion surpassed the $3.81 billion expected by analysts.
(Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)