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Chemical maker Sika sets higher sales goal for 2023, hikes 2022 outlook

Logo of Swiss chemical group Sika is seen in Zurich

By John Revill

ZURICH (Reuters) -Sika expects to increase its sales between 15% and 18% next year, the Swiss company said on Tuesday, after raising its 2022 outlook and putting a chunk of the former BASF construction chemicals business it bought last year up for sale.

The company's shares rose 6.1%, making it the best performing European building materials stock, after it said it expected its full-year sales to increase by more than 15% this year, up from its previous outlook of growth at "well over 10%".

"We have had a strong year to date, and therefore we are in a position to lift our top-line expectations," Chief Executive Thomas Hasler told the company's investor day in Zurich

In its first outlook for 2023, Hasler also expected Sika to increase its local currency sales by 15%-to-18% next year, boosted by infrastructure spending and robust markets like North America.

The company - whose chemical products are used to strengthen and waterproof concrete - also expects in the first half of next year to complete the acquisition of MBCC, the former BASF construction chemicals business it bought for $6 billion last November.

Sika has been forced by regulators in Australia, Britain, Europe, New Zealand and North America to sell part of the admixtures business to meet competition concerns.

As a result, it will sell business that generated around 850 million Swiss francs ($862.07 million) in sales, but keep factories and other units that had sales of 2.15 billion francs in 2021.

Sika announced the start of the sale process on Tuesday, and has identified 15-to-20 potential buyers, including companies involved in the construction market as well as financial bidders.

"We have a nice line up of interested parties for this divestment," Hasler said. Sika was looking at potential trade buyers or financial investors, he added, as this was needed to satisfy regulators looking at the MBCC acquisition, he said.

($1 = 0.9901 Swiss francs)

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Rachel More, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Barbara Lewis)