In this edition of Duff & Phelps' European Chemicals Update, we take a look at the construction chemicals market and talk to Sika AG's (Sika) CFO, Adrian Widmer, to hear his insights on some of the recent developments in the market as well as Sika's strategic approach.

We also evaluate current trends for key raw materials, prevailing investor sentiment and valuation developments in the featured industrial specialty sub-sector.

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Our top insights are detailed below.

Adrian Widmer provides his insights and observations of the construction chemicals market. He discusses Sika's role in the market and their business strategy, and talks about the company's special approach to evaluating M&A opportunities and post-merger integration.

In addition, we review key raw materials in the chemicals sector, which, except for the pick-up in crude oil prices, trended downward in Q1 2019. Supply disruption prevailed over worries of a deteriorating economy, boosting Brent crude prices in Q1 2019. However, the U.S. and China tariff conflict remains a major factor of uncertainty that may soften demand in the coming months.

Next, the ifo Business Climate Index for the German chemical industry showed a slight rebound in Q1 2019. Both current conditions and expectations trended upwards in Q1 2019, as the outlook for the chemicals industry improved.

Finally, in the industrial specialty sub-sector, market capitalization increased for the featured companies. Share price recovery reflected the positive FY18 earnings and likely led to improved market sentiment.

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