Sika reassures about its sales over nine months despite the pandemic

The Swiss chemicals group Sika, which specializes in building materials, reassured investors when it released its nine-month results on Thursday, despite sales down slightly with the shock of the health crisis.

For the first nine months of the year, the group which manufactures sealants, adhesives and sealants for the building industry reported sales in line with expectations, down 3.4% year-on-year to 5.8 billion Swiss francs (5.4 billion euros), he said in a statement.

But the group surprised on its net profit, better than expected, despite the pressure of the Swiss franc. Compared to the comparable period last year, it contracted 0.9% to 561.5 million Swiss francs. By comparison, analysts surveyed by the Swiss agency AWP expected an average of 506.5 million in profit for 5.8 billion in revenue.

The Swiss group was affected in the first half of the year by site closures but managed to limit the erosion of its sales thanks to its recent acquisitions.

Sales growth in Asia-Pacific

Last year, Sika made the biggest acquisition in its history by spending 2.5 billion Swiss francs to buy the French company Parex, with the aim of doubling the size of its mortars activities. This acquisition enabled it to continue to grow in Asia-Pacific despite the health crisis, in particular in China where the activities inherited from Parex have particularly “withstood the crisis”, Sika pointed out.

In Asia-Pacific, its nine-month sales climbed 13.9% in local currencies over the past nine months, offsetting slower growth in other markets.

«Despite the severe repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic“Sales in local currencies rose 2.6% across the group, with acquisitions contributing 9.2% to growth, Sika detailed.

At 7:53 GMT, the stock appreciated 2.98% to 235.20 Swiss francs, one of the few values ​​in the green within the SMI, the benchmark index of the Swiss Stock Exchange, which fell by 0.61%. These figures will give back “more investor confidence“, Who had questioned”few months ago“His growth forecasts, wondering if they were not”too optimisticJefferies analysts responded in a stock commentary.

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Gap, André, Camaïeu, Célio … The entire clothing sector in crisis

Gap announced by videoconference to its employees on Tuesday, October 20 that it intended to leave Europe: 22 stores in France and 500 employees. It is the demonstration of difficulties in the clothing sector more generally. And unfortunately there are plenty of examples.

In recent months, the clothing brands have been announcing legal reorganizations, changes in shareholders, safeguard procedures … Camaïeu, La Halle, André, Un Jour Ailleurs, Célio, Orchestra, Naf Naf, Absorba … Now Gap. Names that are part of our daily life as consumers and that lower the curtain. 650 stores have closed since the start of the year. The sector which employs 180,000 people in the country has lost 4,000 jobs.

These are brands that were fragile, sick, often crumbling under an abysmal debt. Containment – which is a symptom of the crisis for these stores – has finished them.

Customers go to stores less

We set foot in stores much less. Barrier gestures greatly penalize this type of sign. At the time of deconfinement, clothing stores were one of the few local shops that had not really bounced.

On average, we spend 1/4 hour in a clothing store. Queuing on the sidewalk, trying in the cab, strolling through the shelves, it has become complicated: window shopping is difficult with a mask. Result: attendance in free fall: 17% fewer customers since the start of the year… 24.4% less activity in shopping center stores according to the Alliance du Commerce. And a further 7% drop in sales in September compared to last year.

There is also a change in consumer behavior. In fact, the virus has been dormant in the clothing industry since 2013 and the collapse of Rana Plaza, that nine-story building in Bangladesh where 1,138 workers who worked for all the major global ready-to-wear brands have died. Consumers in developed countries have realized what their
consumption frenzy clothing at low prices.

Clothing became the symbol of the worst that globalization produced. Deaths on the other side of the world to feed our superfluity.

Second-hand clothes are on the rise

But have behaviors really changed on the consumer side? The coronavirus has, once again, accelerated the mutation. A few weeks ago, the Prix des Pros rewarded a young man, Davy Dao, who manufactures, in the Vosges, jeans with linen grown in the North … production locale which says a lot about the desire to bring clothing production closer to us.

Then above all, we buy less clothes and they have several lives. The site Vinted
which offers purchases between individuals of second-hand products became, in August, the 3rd e-commerce site in France. All major retailers are selling second-hand products: Leclerc, Carrefour, Auchan, Système U, Ikea. Purchases of second-hand luxury goods are expected to double in the next 5 years.

We’re not just talking about a fashion for sores … There are obviously still people looking for low prices but habits are changing. You can find low prices in second-hand products that avoid overconsumption. It’s virtuous but it’s clear against the whole economic model of clothing stores.

The advantages: the French continue to save

We are close to the 100 billion savings accumulated since January and we put the money in the livret A (25.76 billion euros). The French have never put so much money into this type of account in 9 months.

The score: 12/20 for the finances of the unemployment insurance

A note of encouragement. As might be expected, Unedic’s accounts are falling into the red. The organization plans to compensate 420,000 unemployed more than last year. The deficit is expected to be around 19 billion, which is amazing! But, it’s a little less than expected. This summer, we expected a loss of $ 25.7 billion. We bounced back a little better than expected after confinement.

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A virus attacking zucchini, cucumbers and melons detected in France

An investigation is underway to determine the origin of the contamination.

By Le Figaro with AFP

The virus has been detected in two regions in the south of France, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.
The virus has been detected in two regions in the south of France, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. HELENE BAMBERGER / Le Figaro Magazine

A new virus attacking zucchini, cucumbers and melons, present in several European countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece) but so far unknown in France, has been detected in two different regions in the south of France, the Agriculture Ministry announced on Wednesday.

Contamination by this virus, called Tomato Leaf curl New Delhi virus (ToLCNDV), was identified on zucchini leaves in one plot in Occitanie and three in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur. The infected vegetables were in seed production and resale establishments, on plots not intended for commercial seed production, and in farmers’ homes. Not presenting “no risk to human healthThe virus causes damage to zucchini, cucumber and melon crops. In India, it is virulent on tomato crops, the ministry said.

Measures have been implemented to prevent any spread by pruning tools, knives or secateurs or through the insect that carries the virus on plants, a small white fly called the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. The destruction of the plants is organized under the control of the State services in the contaminated plots, with the aim of completely eradicating the virus. An investigation is underway to determine the origin of the contamination and reinforced surveillance will be implemented for the next growing season, specifies the ministry.

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What is “SADS-CoV”, a new porcine coronavirus dangerous for humans?

While the coronavirus pandemic continues inexorably around the world, with more than 1,125,000 victims identified, scientists are working to define the best “strategy” in the event of a new epidemic. They analyzed the “SADS-CoV”, a porcine coronavirus which no longer exists in Europe since 1990. Their conclusions are clear: this virus could easily “replicate” in human lung and intestinal cells. Explanations.

“Three new human coronaviruses and three new pig coronaviruses suddenly appeared and spread around the world” in 20 years, remind scientists from the University of North Carolina.

Covid-19 caught researchers and their knowledge of human coronaviruses by surprise. As a result, Professor Caitlin Edward’s teams anticipate a new health crisis by looking at the “SADS-CoV”, until now considered harmless to humans.

Pigs: “key” intermediate hosts of epidemics

In pigs, infection with “SADS-CoV” causes a dysfunction of the intestinal system, accompanied by vomiting, gastroenteritis and acute diarrhea. This virus, responsible for a 100% mortality rate in unweaned piglets, was synthetically “resurrected” by researchers, details West France, to see the effects of the virus on humans.

By contaminating human strains, academics have found that the virus “replicated efficiently in many types of cells “and could easily infect the lungs, liver, airways and intestines.

Several reasons have prompted the scientific community to keep an eye on this coronavirus of porcine origin, starting with its upsurge in China since 2016. This revival can be explained in particular by the promiscuity between man and animal in factory farms and above all, by the formidable effectiveness of pigs as “key intermediate hosts of epidemics”.

A call for “continuous surveillance of pigs”

If the health authorities have not identified any infection of this type in the world, scientists want to be careful. The “re-emergence of this virus in the pig population in China” calls for “continuous surveillance of pigs”, underline the researchers of the University of North Carolina who specify that in the event of contamination, the human being will not be able to benefit from an effective immunity to fight against this coronavirus.

However, Professor Caitlin Edward’s teams note good news: according to their study, Remdesivir, used in particular against Covid-19, is effective in combating SADS-CoV. The treatment could “effectively block the replication of the virus in vitro”.

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patients with blood group O less vulnerable?

For several months, several studies have suggested that people with blood type O may be less vulnerable to the disease of the coronavirus.

According to two new studies published in recent days and carried out on a much larger number of patients, the blood group would therefore play a role in our ability to be contaminated or in the severity of the disease, explains LCI.

Danish scientists analyzed the blood group of thousands of their compatriots tested positive between February 27 and July 30. And according to the authors of the study published in the journal , 42% of the Danish population appear in blood group O, 42% in group A, 11% in B and 4% in AB. However, among the more than 7,000 people who tested positive in Denmark and whose samples were analyzed, only 38% have a blood type O, while the rates are similar for the other groups with their distribution in the population. For the researchers, this demonstrates “that blood group O is significantly associated with reduced susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection”.

According to another study published in Blood Advances, “patients with blood group A or AB appear to have greater severity of the disease than patients with blood group O or B “.

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the French are fueling more and more on bioethanol

Green gasoline, bioethanol, has become the preferred fuel of the French. However, the SP95-E10 almost got taxed more. In the end the government backed down. This fuel is more and more popular, as a survey shows. Even Land Rover now runs on beet alcohol

To paraphrase this famous slogan, today we can say: “in France, we don’t have oil but we have bioethanol “, either SP95-E10 which contains 10% ethanol, or the more muscular version, E85, which contains 85%. With a shock argument for the latter: less than 70 cents at the pump. In addition, in most regions, you benefit from free registration.

A green fuel that has enjoyed a real plebiscite since 8 out of 10 motorists want manufacturers to offer compatible vehicles and service stations to offer more E85, according to a Land Rover poll. Finally, when we ask the French which vehicle they are ready to consider to drive more eco-responsible: it is not pure electric that comes first; barely 40%, but it is the hybrid that appeals to them for two thirds of them and in particular the E85 hybrid (62%).

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The 5 best smartwatches of the moment according to your budget

They sold more than traditional watch industry watches last year. Six years after the launch of the Apple Watch, connected watches have imposed themselves in the daily life of technophiles and people concerned with monitoring their physical activity.

A natural extension of the smartphone on the wrist, they have gained in autonomy over the years and offer more and more features. They allow limit smartphone use avoiding having to take it out to observe its notifications. They also provide a wide monitoring of physical and sports activities and are developing more and more skills in health monitoring.

Less expensive than smartphones, they are available in a price range of between approximately 150 euros and 500 euros. There are models aimed more at athletes and others rather tailored for city dwellers. Overview of the most interesting models of the moment.

1. Huawei Watch Fit (130 euros): a watch in a tracker

Available since the start of the school year at a price of 130 euros, the Watch Fit is tailored for young audiences with a affordable price, colors pop, 10 days of autonomy and a large, customizable rectangular dial.

Simple and slight like a tracker, it offers fun tracking of sports activities and heart rate monitoring. But she also receives the calls and the notifications on its large AMOLED screen like a connected watch.

The Watch Fit is located halfway between the connected watch and the activity tracker
The Watch Fit is located halfway between the connected watch and the activity tracker
Credit: Huawei

2. Honor Magic Watch 2 (120 euros): the low price

Launched at the end of 2019, Honor’s Magic Watch 2 takes over most of the functions of Huawei’s Watch GT2 at a aggressive price.

Equipped with a beautiful AMOLED screen, this sports watch offers a excellent autonomy two-week and health and wellness tracking features with the ability to synchronize data of various sports applications. She receives notifications and calls from the smartphone but cannot reply to messages.

La Magic Watch 2 de Honor
La Magic Watch 2 de Honor
Credit: Honor

3. Oppo Watch (249 euros): the most elegant of Android watches

Available from 249 euros for a few days, the Oppo Watch is perhaps the most elegant Android watch of the moment. With its rectangular dial and its curved screen, it is reminiscent of the Apple Watch. It offers an interface Android Wear simplified with icons arranged by lines and sports activity tracking provided by Google Fit.

It also has an in-house overlay with custom dials and pre-loaded fitness exercises. It offers approximately two days of autonomy but has a fast charge among the fastest on the market (1h15). Note that it is also compatible with the Orange eSIM.

The Oppo watch is somewhat inspired by the Apple Watch
The Oppo watch is somewhat inspired by the Apple Watch
Credit: Oppo

4. Withings ScanWatch (300 euros): the health companion

Packed with technologies, the latest watch from the French specialist in connected health objects can detect heart abnormalities and the breathing disturbances during sleep using his on-board EKG and oximeter.

It is also a very good daily companion for people who want to monitor their physical activity. His elegant look and its analog design make it a more discreet and less time-consuming watch than the Apple Watch and most Android Wear smartwatches.

La Withings ScanWatch
La Withings ScanWatch
Crédit : Withings

5. Apple Watch Series 6 (429 euros): the best on the market

Six years after its launch, the Apple Watch still largely dominates the connected watch market. The Apple Watch Series 6 launched this fall confirms the shift to health that Apple began last year with the addition of the sleep tracking and the measuring the level of oxygen in the blood in addition to the electrocardiogram function.

Apple intends to maintain its dominance in the connected watch market with the Watch Series 6
Apple intends to maintain its dominance in the connected watch market with the Watch Series 6
Credit: Apple

The new version also gains a faster processor and contemporary features such as notifications encouraging people to respect barrier gestures. But previous generations are still relevant today with their excellent screen, their controlled interface and the large catalog of compatible applications available in the Apple store.

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Did the Moon allow Earth to survive?

The mystery surrounding the creation of the Moon and its direct link with our Earth is still at the heart of much research. A collective of scientists, from NASA, the University of Maryland and the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton, realized that the Moon could have played the role of Earth’s shield several billion years ago.
This study, published in Science Advances this Wednesday, October 14 and relayed by Numerama, is based on lunar samples from Apollo. These samples tend to think that the Moon has its own magnetic field. Scientists were then able to simulate the magnetic fields of the Moon and the Earth under the conditions from 4 billion years ago.

By studying several orbital positions, they observed connections between the magnetic field of our planet and that of the Moon. Connections that make them think that at certain times, the Moon was able to protect the Earth from solar winds, namely cosmic rays and particles emitted by the Sun. These solar storms destroy a planet’s atmosphere over time, and only a strong magnetic field could provide maximum protection, the study explains.

“A protective barrier”

“The Moon appears to have been a substantial protective barrier against the solar wind for the Earth, which was essential to the Earth’s ability to maintain its atmosphere during this period,” said in a statement from NASA, physicist James L. Green, co-author of the study. NASA specifies that this protection has been able to help our planet to finally develop living conditions and habitability. The mystery of the relationship that may have existed between the Moon and the Earth still remains great. New samples of the lunar surface will surely provide more clues in the future.

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where is the research for a preventive treatment?

This is a lead that could help stem the Covid-19 epidemic. Preventive treatments are being studied in the laboratory and in clinical trials. According to the President of the Scientific Council, Jean-François Delfraissy, who spoke on Friday October 9 on BFMTV and in The Parisian, there are “good reasons to believe” that preventive drugs will be available “in the spring”.

However, to date, the High Authority for Health (HAS), which keeps a watch on clinical studies for drugs against the virus, ensures thatshe has “no knowledge of effective preventive treatment against Covid-19”.

In truth, Jean-François Delfraissy speaks of avenues of research, which are only in their infancy. “The monoclonal antibodies for example, which were used in the Regeneron treatment which was administered to Donald Trump “, he quotes RTL.fr.

Manufactured in the laboratory, these antibodies are then injected intravenously. The goal: ahelp the immune system neutralize the coronavirus. Tuesday, October 13, the pharmaceutical group Eli Lilly announced the suspension of its clinical trial on a similar treatment, but did not detail why.

The track of “repositioning”

We can imagine that this treatment will eventually be used as a preventive measure, but we must remain very careful. “We have to wait for these antibodies to show their effectiveness”, specifies Jean-François Delfraissy. The HAS insists for its part on the fact that no antibody-based treatment has yet proven its effectiveness in stage 3 studies, that is to say by testing on a large scale on humans.

The President of the Scientific Council also mentions “second generation molecules”. The idea is therefore to see if drugs that already exist can be used against the coronavirus. This is called the “repositioning”.

In France, The Institut Pasteur de Lille notably received a donation of five million euros from luxury giant LVMH to test a molecule, identified as part of a repositioning program. But she still has to be tested in vivo.

Several drugs, tested to date in a curative way, could also be used in the long term in preventive, if they show a long-term action and not begetting no more risks than benefits. They could take the form, for example, of nasal spray, indicates Jean-François Delfraissy.

A nasal spray medication?

The track of sprays nasaux is also interesting. Indeed, it is often through the mucous membranes of the nose that the virus enters the body. At the end of August, a CNRS research team announced that it had found “a decoy capable of irreversibly blocking the SARS-CoV-2 virus”, which could be in the form of nasal or oral spray, or lozenges to melt under the tongue. The treatment has so far only been tested in the laboratory.

In Auvergne, the company Vitrobio also claims to have created a nasal spray that would work as a kind of bandage to stop the virus : it would block inflammation and repair the mucous membrane, thus reducing the risk of developing a severe form of the disease. Near France Blue, the laboratory ensures that the spray could be marketed in November.

On the side of the Academy of Medicine, Professor Buisson, epidemiologist, confirms that there is “an all-out search” but that “no preventive treatment has yet proven its effectiveness”. “At one point, we thought that hydroxychloroquine, failing to work as a cure, might work as a preventive measure. But this hypothesis has also been ruled out,” he explains to RTL.fr.

In short, there are many reasons to hope, hence the statements of Jean-François Delfraissy. From there to saying that there will be preventive treatments in the spring, nothing is certain. Himself confirms thatthis is “only a hypothesis”. Above all, Professor Delfraissy specifies that preventive treatments can only be used with a “vision”, which must be validated by the health authorities. Concretely, According to him, they should be used instead on people at risk.

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more than 400,000 cases of contamination in 24 hours worldwide, a record

By Le Figaro with AFP

A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths.
A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths. PASCAL ROSSIGNOL / REUTERS

More than 400,000 new cases of Covid-19 contamination were announced worldwide on Thursday alone, a record according to the count made on Friday October 16 by AFP from reports provided by the health authorities. A total of 404,758 new infections were reported, resulting in 6,086 new deaths.

This increase in the number of cases reported worldwide is only partly explained by the increase in the number of tests carried out since the first wave of the epidemic in March-April worldwide.

Second wave

In Europe, but also in the United States and Canada, the number of cases detected has risen sharply in one week, by 44% and 17% respectively compared to the previous week. In Europe, the maximum number of cases identified since the start of the pandemic was even reached on Thursday, with more than 150,000 new cases in the region.

Several countries on the continent believe they have entered a second wave of the epidemic. The number of deaths recorded is still far from the levels reached in April (more than 4,000 daily deaths were then recorded on average), but after a slowdown this summer (less than 400 deaths per day in July), the past week has seen the region once again exceed an average of 1,000 daily deaths.

In the United States, where the number of cases announced had declined in September, after a peak in mid-July, contaminations are also on the rise, with an average of more than 50,000 new cases daily in the last seven days, and peaking Thursday at over 70,000.

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