Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Sika recently announced that it has had a dynamic start to the 2021 fiscal year, continuing its growth trajectory in the first quarter with a new sales record of almost CHF 2 billion (approximately $2.2 billion). This equates to an increase of 12.6% in local currencies. Sales growth in Swiss francs amounted to 10.2%, which includes a negative currency effect of 2.4%. The acquisition effect was 1.5%. Organic growth in the first quarter amounted to 11.1%.

"As the new year got underway, we were able to seamlessly build on our strong performance in the fourth quarter of last year," said Paul Schuler, CEO. "We made targeted use of our growth momentum and further expanded market shares in the majority of our markets. Both in the project business and the distribution business, we are benefiting from strong customer demand for our high-quality, innovative, and sustainable solutions. These not only help our customers master their projects and challenges, but also contribute to greater sustainability in the construction sector and to environmentally-friendly mobility. The COVID-19 pandemic will be with us in 2021 too. After a year's experience of doing business in this environment, it is clear that we are on the right course with the implementation of numerous digital initiatives and are benefiting from the added value these provide, as well as from the strength of our customer relationships."

Sika reports that the EMEA region recorded a sales increase in local currency of 13.2% in the first quarter of 2021. Business developed well in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (the "DACH" area); the Nordic countries; Eastern Europe; and the Middle East. A boost in growth was witnessed in the countries of southern Europe, with Italy, France, and the UK, as well as in Africa.

The Americas region recorded growth in local currencies of 6.2%. In the Americas region, Sika reports that it saw a clear uptrend, despite the high COVID-19 infection rates recorded in Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S. While many large urban centers in North America continue to be affected by the pandemic and construction projects are being delayed, the situation in Latin America has improved markedly.

In the first quarter of 2021, Sika acquired the flooring adhesives business segment of DriTac, a U.S.-based company with a particularly strong market position in the area of adhesive bonding for flooring systems. In addition, BR Massa, a manufacturer of mortar products in Brazil, was brought into the Sika Group.

Sales in local currencies in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 25.8%, with China in particular enjoying yet another surge in growth momentum with double-digit organic growth rates. Australia and India were also able to contribute to the positive business development of this region. By contrast, the countries of the Southeast Asia region have been recovering only slowly from the far-reaching effects of the pandemic.

In the Global Business segment, Sika achieved growth in local currencies of 2.7%. In the first quarter of the current financial year, the automotive industry experienced major bottlenecks in the electronic parts supply chain. Not until March were vehicle production rates once again rising significantly in all regions. For the year 2021, the automotive industry is expected to grow by 10%. Sika is expecting long-term growth stimuli from the megatrends evident in modern automotive construction, which will continue to be dominated by electro-mobility and lightweight construction.

Despite the coronavirus crisis and its repercussions for operating results, Sika is confirming its 2023 strategic targets and seeking to grow by 6-8% a year in local currencies up to 2023. For the 2021 fiscal year, Sika is now expecting double-digit sales growth in local currencies.

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