Sika first-half sales, profit drop on coronavirus hit

July 23 (Reuters) - Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika on Thursday posted a rare drop in sales and profit as the coronavirus pandemic stalled many building projects and industrial output slowed.

The company’s sales fell 3.2% to 3.61 billion Swiss francs ($3.88 billion) in the first half of 2020, also weighed down by a stronger domestic currency.

In local currencies, sales rose 2.9% for the company, whose admixture products are used to strengthen and waterproof concrete and other building materials and have been used in the 57.1-km-long Gotthard Base Tunnel under the Alps.

Net profit fell to 275.6 million francs from 330.7 million francs a year earlier, while operating profit declined 14.8% to 410.2 million francs. ($1 = 0.9293 Swiss francs) (Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and John Revill in Zurich; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)