Australian fertiliser firm and takeover target Nufarm Ltd expects its first-half earnings to be lower than the previous corresponding period, the company told its shareholders meeting on Thursday.

Nufarm said however that it was confident its full year fiscal 2010 operating profit will beat that of 2009.

Analysts are expecting a net profit of A$171 million for the year to July 2010, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, up 7 percent on last year's net profit before one-offs, as sales of its key weedkiller, glyphosate, are expected to recover.

Chinese state-owned Sinochem proposed a $2.6 billion takeover offer in September and had aimed to have an agreement by Thursday. The deadline was extended to Dec. 23 this week as Sinochem wanted more time to review information from Nufarm.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul)