Indian agrochem UPL posts higher Q2 profit, backs full-year forecast

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Indian agriculture chemicals producer UPL Ltd reported a 28.4% rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, as higher agro commodity prices and a favourable exchange rate offset a drop in sales volumes.

The herbicide and insecticide maker also said it was confident of meeting its full-year revenue growth forecast of 12-15%, EBITDA growth forecast of 15-18% and reducing net debt by $650 million.

The company is among a number of Indian agrochem players that have so far benefited from higher agriculture commodity prices and as firms globally push to diversify supplies away from top producer China, which is battling supply constraints.

UPL's profit rose to 8.14 billion rupees ($98.40 million) in its second quarter ended Sept. 30 from 6.34 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from operations rose 18.4% to 125.07 billion rupees, with UPL's Latin American business accounting for nearly 50%.

UPL said Chief Executive Jai Shroff would take over as chairman of the board effective Dec. 1

Mumbai-headquartered UPL had in October said investment firm KKR Inc and others would invest $500 million in its units to fund its expansion plans. ($1 = 82.7200 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru)