US agro-chemical and seed company DuPont has reported a 3% increase in operating earnings at its agriculture division to just under $2bn for the first six months of its 2016 financial year. DuPont said operating margins increased 290 basis points to 17%.

Currency headwinds and lower sales of soya bean seeds were only partially offset by increased corn and pesticide sales as half-year turnover for DuPont’s agriculture division fell 2% to $7bn. Agriculture is the most important division for DuPont, accounting for half of total group sales and almost 60% of group earnings.