During the reporting year, the Agro Ingredients unit was reorganized to integrate Performance Intermediates, which was previously part of Lonza’s Coatings and Composites business. Zelam, a crop protection company acquired by Lonza in 2015, was renamed Lonza NZ Ltd. in 2017 in order to increase brand awareness and the image of Lonza in New Zealand and Australia.
Agro Ingredients showed solid growth based on higher demand in animal nutrition. Our vitamin B3 business for animal nutrition applications experienced favorable market conditions in all geographies, but a cyclical market demand has to be taken into consideration in a mid- to long-term view. Feed applications for L-Carnitine-based and arabinogalactan-containing formulations also grew by geographic expansion, especially in Asia.
Progress was also made in the build-up of a niche portfolio for selected specialty crops with a range of agrochemical products and applications, based on Lonza’s broad technology platforms in chemistry and biotechnology. Geographic expansion, new label claims and new formulations are supporting the strategic growth in this business.
Lonza is one of the world's market leaders in molluscicides, with our offering of Meta® metaldehyde active ingredient and Meta®-based, formulated products. For example, Meta®, Lonza’s specific molluscicide for slug and snail control in agriculture and home & garden applications, had strong demand from our strategic growth areas in Southeast Asia. We offer solutions for the main pest there – the Golden Apple Snail.
Also we serve the professional and home & garden markets with our formulated end-use molluscicide, Axcela®. In all the main markets, we collaborate with strategic partners and leading local distribution companies to support the growth of our premium-quality products.
Additionally, we offer fertilizers and sanitizing agents for the agricultural industry. Our Frexus® line of bactericides and algaecides to ensure effective sanitization in the food, beverage and farming industries covers pre- and post-harvest treatment needs to ensure fresh and healthy food for consumers. For instance, our finished commercial Frexus® CH Sanitizer products are sold in Brazil – one of the largest agricultural markets in the world – as fertilizers and as disinfectants for fruit and vegetable crops (pre- and post-harvest treatments).