During the first 9 months of the fiscal year 2002 the Sika Group recorded net sales of CHF 1 613 m (previous year CHF 1 603 m), of which CHF 17 m was attributable to acquisitions. Net sales in local currencies increased by +7.5% (Construction Division +8.1%, Industry Divi-sion +6.0%), illustrating stable internal growth in spite of the adverse economic conditions. Dur-ing the period reported, negative currency effects reduced net sales by –6.9% or CHF –111 m. However, sales volumes increased by +9.2% (+5.6% adjusted for acquisitions).

As customary for the third quarter, net sales were particularly strong slightly increasing to CHF 579 million (CHF 565 million). This corresponds to an increase of +2.5% in Swiss francs, or +10.8% in local currency terms.

Key data of the consolidated income statement

The measures introduced last year to improve efficiency are showing the desired effect:

Operating results before depreciation (EBITDA) increased by +12.1% in the first nine months to CHF 222.7 million (CHF 198.7 million). Operating profit (EBIT) also rose by +21.8% to reach CHF 140.3 million (CHF 115.2 million).

Group net profit reached CHF 73.4 million (CHF 52.2 million), corresponding to a +40.6% increase relative to the same period of the previous year.

Cash flow (net profit plus depreciation), increased by +14.8% to CHF 155.8 million (CHF 135.7 million).

Forecast until the end of 2002

Based on the performance of the business during the first nine months of the fiscal year 2002, we expect to be in line with our forecast. We are not expecting the pace of growth to pick up any further before the end of the year. The fourth quarter is traditionally weak. Sales and earnings contribution during this period tends to be below-average.