July 26, 2018 / 3:47 AM / 22 days ago

UPDATE 1-Sika reports better-than-expected H1 profit

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July 26 (Reuters) - Swiss building materials company Sika reported a better-than-expected profit for the first half of the year on Thursday, the first set of results since it settled its long-running feud with Saint-Gobain.

Sika said its net profit rose 11.4 percent during the first six months to 318.2 million Swiss francs ($321.25 million) from 285.7 million francs a year earlier, beating analyst forecasts for 310 million francs in a Reuters poll.

The company, which makes chemicals used in construction projects as well as adhesives for the automotive industry, said sales rose 16 percent, from 2.99 billion francs to 3.47 billion francs.

Sika repelled a hostile takeover bid from Saint-Gobain in May after being locked in a bitter battle with the French construction materials company for three-and-a-half years.

Under a settlement, Saint-Gobain dropped its plans to take control of Sika by buying the founding family's controlling stake. Instead, it agreed to take a 10.75 percent holding and not make a tender offer for Sika for at least six years.

Since then, Sika has adopted a simplified share structure and abolished the dual share scheme which enabled the takeover attempt to be launched.

Much of Sika's growth in recent years has been driven by a string of smaller acquisitions, while it plans to open eight new factories during 2018.

Chairman Paul Haelg has said the company could also make bigger acquisitions and spend up to $1 billion on a single target.

On Thursday, Sika said it was still on track for a more than 10 percent rise in sales to 7 billion francs.

Sika expects EBIT and net profit to increase at a slightly higher rate than sales in 2018. ($1 = 0.9905 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill in Zurich and Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)

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