Sika recently announced that it posted record results in the first half of 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to seriously impact business in all regions. The company reports that it generated strong growth rates and continued its growth trajectory, with a new sales record of CHF 4.4 billion (approximately $4.9 billion). This represents an increase of 23.5% in local currencies. Sales growth in Swiss francs amounted to 23.1%, which includes a slightly negative currency effect of 0.4%. The acquisition effect was 1.1%.
“In a market environment that remained challenging, we once again performed successfully, achieving strong business results in the first six months of 2021,” said Thomas Hasler, CEO. “With our innovative strength, our customer focus, and our leading market position, we secured strong growth in all regions and expanded our market share in a targeted manner. COVID-19 will continue to pose a challenge. We are well equipped and have proven a high level of resilience against a difficult economic backdrop, creating new growth platforms. Sika has a strong corporate culture and our local teams working with our regional and corporate organizations are ready for the challenges that the second half of the year may bring.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much present in all regions. In Africa, Asia, and Latin America, in particular, economic output continues to be impacted by low vaccination rates. In addition, there has been a deterioration in the availability of raw materials.
In the first half of 2021, the EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) region recorded a sales increase in local currencies of 24.1% compared to the first half of 2020. As in 2020, growth in the distribution and renovation business was stronger than in the other business segments. The private residential sector in particular turned in a highly dynamic performance. Nearly all countries in the region achieved double-digit growth rates. The countries of southern Europe, along with Italy, France, the UK, and Africa, benefited from a boost in growth. In general, purchases of Sika product solutions via e-commerce platforms witnessed an above-average increase.
The Americas region recorded growth in local currencies of 19.5%, finding its way back to clear, double-digit growth in the first half of 2021. Canada, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Chile saw a strong development. In the U.S., the business gained momentum after initially experiencing a more muted pace. The main growth drivers were larger-scale maintenance projects and new-build projects in the area of distribution and data centers.
Sales in local currencies in the Asia-Pacific region increased by 26%. China in particular enjoyed strong momentum, with double-digit organic growth rates. The number of sales outlets was further expanded to 120,000, making a substantial contribution to the strong growth with a focused shop-in-shop strategy for additional, selected products. Business activity in countries such as India and Australia developed at a dynamic pace, and Sika saw a return to double-digit growth rates in the countries of Southeast Asia, despite the substantial coronavirus impact. The situation proved to be more difficult in Japan. In a bid to keep infection rates low in the run-up to the Olympic Games, the government stepped up lockdown measures and shut down construction activities over the first half of the year.
In the Global Business segment, Sika achieved growth in local currencies of 27.6%. In the first half of 2021, the automotive industry experienced major bottlenecks in the electronic parts supply chain, and it was only toward the mid-point of the period under review that production rates for new vehicles recorded an uptrend in all regions. In particular, the transition from traditional drive systems to electromobility has picked up momentum during the pandemic, underpinned by various local support programs. Growth of 10% is forecast for the automotive sector for full-year 2021. Sika anticipates long-term growth stimuli from the megatrends evident in modern automotive construction—electromobility and lightweight construction.
Additional details are available at www.sika.com.