Despite the adverse business climate, Sika succeeded in increasing its sales. In Swiss Francs, net sales in the first half of 2003, totaling CHF 1,069.8 m (previous year: 1,034.9 m), were 3.4% higher than in the corresponding period last year. Expressed in local currencies, sales were 10.2% higher. Both operating divisions of the specialty chemicals company contributed to the gain: Construction 8.4%, Industry 14.8%. The improvements reflect renewed gains in Sika’s market position.

The operating profit (EBIT) rose from CHF 77.4 m to CHF 80.2 m, an increase in terms of Swiss francs of 3.7%. The development of the EBIT for the Construction and Industry Divisions varied. Construction matched the level achieved in the first half last year, while the Industry Division posted a 9.4% gain. But the operating profit before depreciation (EBITDA) of the Sika Group declined 3.7% to CHF 127.8 m compared to the corresponding half last year.

Sika Group net profits were up 14.6%. For the comparable half-year period they advanced from CHF 35.5 m to CHF 40.7 m

The global management of liquid funds resulted in a reduction of indebtedness by about CHF 100 m. The Debt/Equity-Ratio rose to 46.2%

Given the lack of any signs of economic recovery, Sika continues to expect restrained growth in Swiss franc sales and earnings. However, thanks to new product introductions  Sika will continue to bolster its market share.