US biotechnology giant Monsanto has reported higher quarterly earnings, held by higher seed sales.

The company reported net income of US$154m, or 57 cents per share, for the second quarter to 29 February, compared to $100m, or 38 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Net sales increased 15% to $1.5bn in the second quarter, primarily because of the continuing growth of the seeds and genomics business, particularly in the US.

CEO Hugh Grant said the growth in Monsanto’s seeds and traits business – especially in the corn seeds and traits business – gives the company a strong foundation for continued growth.

“We believe we have a clear path established to achieve a 10% compounded annual growth rate in earnings per share on an ongoing business basis for 2005 and 2006,” Grant said.

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