Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika on Friday signaled an improvement in local-currency sales in 2021 and said insider Thomas Hasler will take over as chief when current boss Paul Schuler exits on May 1.
Hasler is presently the head of Sika’s global business and industry division, and has been a member of group management since 2014.
The company, whose results highlight trends within the broader construction and automotive sectors, forecast a 6% to 8% increase in local-currency sales growth for 2021, as demand rebounds from pandemic lows.
Sika’s results were also bolstered by two acquisitions during 2020 as well as building new factories in China and Colombia.
Operating profit for 2020 jumped 7.1% to 1.13 billion Swiss francs ($1.26 billion), beating analysts’ forecast of 1.10 billion francs. Its net profit rose 8.8% to 825.1 million francs, with a proposed 2020 dividend of 2.50 francs versus 2.30 francs in 2019.
Its local-currency sales rose 3.4% during 2020, although the rise of the Swiss franc during the year – as investors bought safe-haven assets during the COVID-19 pandemic – meant reported sales fell 2.9%.
After an initial downturn in sales caused by coronavirus restrictions halting construction projects, Sika said it saw a rebound in demand in the second half of 2020.
($1 = 0.8965 Swiss francs)