Syngenta First-Quarter Sales Beat Forecasts

Syngenta on Friday reported a 13 percent rise in first-quarter sales beating analysts' expectations, and said it continued to see strong growth in emerging markets.

The group reported first-quarter salas of $4.02 billion. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast first-quarter sales of $3.925 billion.

Earlier this month, Monsanto's quarterly profit beat forecasts on strong sales of corn seed for spring planting and improved margins, Reuters reported.

Chief Executive Officer Mike Mack told CNBC he was pleased 2011 had started well.

"The first quarter by itself doesn't indicate how well the Northern hemisphere planting season is going to go...but we're getting shipments in place," Mack told CNBC, adding strong commodity prices were going to give growers incentive to invest.

"Demand is strong for grains," he said, and "the outlook for farmers to invest in their crops is intact."

"Farmers in the US are making big investments in new storage equipment and that's significant," Mack said. This suggests farmers are keen to hold grain longer as they believe prices will go up, he said.

Asked about the group's acquisition plans, Mack said: "We've never closed up shop on looking for ways to use our cash flow and of course cash flow is strong."

"We're looking to continue to grow our business," he said.