Baar, Switzerland, -- Sika, a building products company, saw sales grow 4.4% in the first half of 2013 compared with 2012, said the firm in a release.
The company added that in emerging markets sales grew by 15.3% and this fed through to an increase in net profit of 13.2%. The company said its second quarter figures benefitted from pent-up demand from a first quarter which was slow because of the prolonged northern winter.
This led to an 8.3% increase in second-quarter sales.Net sales for the first half of 2013 were CHF 2.4bn ($2.6bn) up 4.4% in local currencies.
In Europe, Middle East, Africa region, first-half sales were CHF 1.1 bn an 0.8% local currency growth, the firm said. There was significant growth in Middle Eastern and African emerging markets as well as in Russia.
In key markets such as Germany and Northern European countries, the sentiment was rather cautious in the first half of 2013 and numerous new infrastructure projects were postponed. There is still no trend reversal in sight in Southern Europe, the company said. Sika reported a further improvement in profitability in the EMEA region, with the earnings before interest and taxation margin at 10.0% -- up by a fifth compared with the first half of 2012.
After a severe winter with a substantial decrease in sales in the roofing segment, Sika's markets in the region North America improved slightly.
Some building projects which were delayed owing to the weather started in the second quarter of 2013. There is still some catching up to do, Sika said. While stricter budget restrictions imposed by the US government and the individual federal states slowed Sika's business to some extent, the recovery in the housing market had a positive impact on the construction climate, Sika said.
Maintaining the momentum seen in previous periods in the region Latin America, Sika said it recorded 11.8% growth in the first half of 2013. Sika reported a substantial increase in sales in all target markets throughout the region, with growth especially strong in Brazil and Argentina. Inflation trends in South America had a negative effect tin individual states.
In the region Asia/Pacific, Sika saw further strong growth and lifted net sales by 11.2% in local currencies. While volumes were stable in the OECD.
Sika said it expects to see emerging markets continue to grow with demand from Asia remaining strong. The company is projecting double-digit growth rates for Latin America, However, it warns that developments in Europe are uncertain.