Sika recently reported that it maintained its growth trajectory over the first nine months of 2020, despite the severe repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic, increasing sales by 2.6% in local currencies to CHF 5.8 billion (approximately $6.4 billion). The effect of acquisitions contributed 9.2% to the growth in sales.
Organic growth in the first nine months of 2020 was in negative territory, down 6.6%. A strongly negative currency effect (- 6%) caused sales in Swiss francs to decline by 3.4%; the latter figure reflects a currency loss of around CHF 357 million (~ $392.2 million).
“The 2020 financial year to date has been dominated by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Paul Schuler, CEO. “With our decentralized organization, we have been able to adapt swiftly to changed local conditions in all 100 countries and gain market share. Thanks to our clear focus on innovations and sustainability and the business potential that we can exploit through global infrastructure programs, as well as to the increased demand for renovation work and our strength in the builders’ merchant business, we will be able to keep Sika on its growth trajectory and emerge from this crisis stronger than before.”
In the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa), sales increased in local currency by 3.8% for the first nine months of 2020. This region has been recording a slight organic growth since June. The biggest recovery was staged by southern European countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, and France, as well as by the Middle East. In most of central western Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) and in the countries of Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, business progressed in a more stable manner. Growth in the UK continues to be hampered by the pandemic.
The Americas region recorded sales growth in local currencies of 0.9%. Sika reports that it has enjoyed a modest uptrend in the Americas region despite the high COVID-19 infection rates recorded in Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S. Many of the major cities in North America remain affected by the pandemic. The situation in Latin America has improved slightly, with the southern part of the region returning to positive growth in September for the first time since February. In particular, countries such as Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay have contributed to the positive business development.
Growth in the Asia-Pacific region amounted to 13.9%. China performed particularly well, according to Sika, recording strong double-digit organic growth rates in recent months with most target markets expanding again. The former Parex business has reportedly been resilient to the crisis: it generated further growth in the various distribution channels. The project business in China is now also once again recording double-digit growth rates thanks to infrastructure orders. In addition, Australia and New Zealand have made positive contributions to regional business development. By contrast, countries such as Japan and India, as well as the Southeast Asia region, have been recovering slowly from the declining business activities triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Sika’s Global Business segment recorded a decline in sales of 16.1% for the first nine months of the year. In the review period, the automotive sector reported a global decline in output of 23.2%. Although business volumes in the automotive area recovered noticeably in the third quarter, it will likely be a while before figures return to 2019 levels. Sika has been recording growth again in the Chinese car sector since May, and in September it was able to report sales growth in Europe and the U.S.
Additional details are available at www.sika.com.