In the first quarter of 2005 net sales of Sika, a specialty chemicals company, totaled CHF 598 mil. compared to CHF 553 mil. in the corresponding year-ago period. The increase amounts to 8.1%. Expressed in local currencies net sales were 10.0% higher. The foreign exchange impact amounted to – 1.9 %.

Divisions and regions

Against the corresponding period a year-ago net sales of both the Construction and the Industry Division were higher. Denominated in Swiss francs, Construction did better by 6.6 %, Industry by 12.1%.

Sika’s sales improved in all regions against the first three months last year. At 33.3 % the Asia/Pacific region led the sales gains expressed in local currencies. At 17.4 % and 13.3 % two-digit increases were also registered in the Latin American and North American regions respectively. Although sales in the European regions were slowed to some extent compared to the first quarter last year, they still grew, denominated in local currencies, 6.9 % in Europe South and 2.4 % in Europe North.

Outlook 2005: Sika increases prices

Sika anticipates sales to advance about 8 % for the entire fiscal year. Margins continue to come under pressure from high raw material costs. Prices of a number of raw materials required by Sika continued to increase in the first quarter. Sika has to adjust to this situation and will therefore boost selling prices for some of its products by 5 to 10 % in May.