Sales rose sharply like-for-like, up 14.3% against a first-quarter 2020 comparison basis that was already affected by the coronavirus and up 9.0% versus first quarter 2019.
This acceleration in organic growth was supported by the Group’s comprehensive solutions for sustainability and performance.
This positive evolution reflects both the strong volume growth (up 11.7% versus Q1 2020 and up 5.8% versus Q1 2019, reflecting good momentum on underlying markets and market share gains) and the acceleration in the price increase (+2.6% on Q1 2020) in a more inflationary cost environment.
During Q1 2021 the sales in the Asia-Pacific Region hit a record organic growth:
31.8% above Q1 2020 and up 15.4% on Q1 2019.
China, which was the first country to be affected by the coronavirus and the first to have fully recovered, doubled its sales against a weak comparison basis. It reported vigorous growth compared to first quarter 2019 thanks to an upbeat market and to market share gains in construction solutions.
For 2021, the Group is targeting a significant like-for-like increase in operating income, with an improvement of more than 100 basis points in the operating margin compared to the 7.7% margin in 2018 (assuming that volumes return to their 2018 levels), confirming the success of the strategic program “Transform & Grow”.