By David Reed, UT EditorBaar, Switzerland-Sika AG, a global supplier of materials for sealing, bonding, damping, reinforcing and protecting of load-bearing structures in construction and industry, reports sales up almost 15 percent in the third quarter of this year, reaching SFr803 million ($615 million). Operating profit (EBITDA, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), rose 5.3 percent, to SFr112 million, according to an 11 Nov. statement from the firm.Many of the firm's products are polyurethane-based, particularly those used in its elastic sealants and adhesives, structural adhesives and acoustic products businesses.Sales growth was particularly strong in Latin America, up 43.5 percent to SFr66 million, and North America, up 21.8 percent to SFr106 million, the firm reported. Sales in the firm's Europe North unit rose 13.4 percent to reach SFr279 million, Europe South, including the Near East and Africa, saw a more modest rise of 9.6 percent, to SwFr262 million, while sales in Asia-Pacific at SFr90 million were just 8.4 percent higher in the third quarter, Sika added.Looking at the situation over the first three quarters saw net sales rise 12.1 percent, to SFr2172.2 million, with EBITDA rising just 2.7 percent, to SFr277.5 million over the same period last year, the Sika results data showed.* Separately, Sika's Board of Directors appointed Dr Urs Mäder as head of research & development and member of group management, succeeding Dr Robert Petrisko, who opted to take a sabbatical for the next two years.Mäder has a doctorate in Chemistry from the University Fribourg, Switzerland, and joined Sika in 1989. Since 2000 he has been product technology director for Sika's construction chemicals and mortars business. Under his guidance, various developments were made, especially in the field of the Sika ViscoCrete technology, which substantially contributed to the success of the Sika Group."