February 22, 2019 / 4:59 AM / in 3 months

UPDATE 1-Sika full-year profit beats on new factory openings

(Adds details, dividend proposal)

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Swiss construction chemicals maker Sika AG on Friday reported a full-year profit that beat expectations, bolstered by new factory openings and takeovers.

Sika, which makes products used for strengthening and waterproofing concrete walls and flooring, reported a 5.9- percent increase in its full-year net profit to 687.1 million Swiss francs ($686.55 million), beating analyst forecasts for a 685 million francs profit in an Infront Data poll.

Buoyed by the results, the company said it would propose a 10.8 percent increase in dividend to 2.05 francs per registered share at the 2019 Annual General Meeting scheduled for April 9.

Sika, which headed off a hostile takeover attempt by France’s Saint-Gobain in 2018, opened 11 new factories and bought four companies last year.

The company in January agreed to buy rival Parex in a deal that values the French mortar manufacturer at 2.5 billion francs.

Sika is also interested in BASF’s construction chemicals business, although its Chief Executive Officer Paul Schuler has said a complete takeover would not be possible because of anti-trust concerns.

Sika posted full-year operating profit of 945.9 million francs, within its target range of 940 million to 960 million Swiss francs. The company had in January reported a 13.4 percent increase in full-year sales to 7.09 billion francs.

$1 = 1.0008 Swiss francs Reporting by John Revill in Zurich and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Shreejay Sinha

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