In the first quarter of business year 2008 Sika increased sales in comparison with the same period in the previous year from CHF 987 million by 3.2% to CHF 1018 million. Underlying organic growth amounted to 7.5%. Acquisitions contributed 0.2% to sales growth. Exchange rate differences, primarily in the US dollar and Euro, bore a negative effect of -4.5%.

While Sika achieved solid, double-digit sales growth in the months of January and February, various factors resulted in a weakening of net sales in March. Currency developments with a negative effect for Sika accelerated considerably, not only in the dollar and Euro regions, but also in a number of countries in Asia and Latin America.

In addition, the early Easter holiday led in various European countries to interruptions in construction that otherwise would normally have been registered in the second quarter of the business year. In contrast with the same month in the previous year, weather conditions for construction in Europe were disadvantageous.

Divisions and Regions

Organic growth in the Construction Division in the first quarter amounted to 8.6%. The Industry Division achieved organic growth of 4.2%. Additionally to the already mentioned factors the reasons for the comparatively restrained growth in the Industry Division during the first quarter lie on one hand in not yet satisfactory automotive business in the USA and in a temporary production stop at an important customer in Europe.

From a geographic standpoint the Regions IMEA (India, Middle East, Africa), with 25.8%, and Latin America with 16.1% once more attained the highest rates of growth. In Eastern Europe the previous year’s dynamism continued unabated.

Outlook

Sika is convinced also in business year 2008 of achieving its target for organic growth of eight to ten percent and of increasing its result again with slightly disproportional gain.