War and economic boom

During World War II, Sika companies continued production in every country where they were present. Thus the admixtures for bunkers built in Switzerland and in the German-occupied areas were delivered by Sika. But also the concrete ships used by the Allies to transport war materiel and to land at Normandy were built with Sika admixtures.

During the boom of the 50s and 60s, new subsidiaries were founded from Sweden to Cuba. A second generational change was heralded in Switzerland by Romuald Burkard’s entry into the firm. Between the time of his entry into the firm in 1953 and the death of his father-in-law Fritz Schenker in 1971, Burkard gradually took over the leadership of the group of companies which by 1968 had become a single integral corporate structure with Sika Finanz AG. The same year, Sika was listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange.

However, as the economy overheated in the late 60s, Sika slid into a serious crisis. A new plant in Düdingen had major start-up difficulties and went over budget; the operations of a number of construction companies were not cost-effective; in Germany and in Scandinavia warranty claims loomed on the horizon. The situation was ominous: Sika only just avoided insolvency.