Home / Business / The crisis has been here for a long time, although everything is now being coronavirus, says Sika chief Tomáš Vala

The crisis has been here for a long time, although everything is now being coronavirus, says Sika chief Tomáš Vala



This is the third crisis that Siko is experiencing, be it Klaus’s package, or the years 2008 and 2009 and now coronavirus. Can it be compared?

I have experienced all three, each one is different. In 1997, it affected us mainly in terms of interest. Interest rates jumped to 22 percent per year, which was terrible. Then we were very creditworthy, and I counted all the time on how many plates we had to sell to earn the 22 percent interest per day. And that there were many of these pallets. Maybe ten a day to pay interest. Only then did he start making money on installments and running the company, on salaries, rents. It was very stressful, fortunately it only lasted for half a year.

And the latest and current crisis?

I think they were both already consumed, though now everything comes to coronavirus. But the crisis has been around for a long time, it is enough to look at car sales statistics two or three months before it broke out in its entirety. All the signs that the crisis was coming were here.

I recently believe on social networks that you are preparing for a crisis because you are waiting for it. How to prepare?

We reinvested free funds in projects with shorter returns ̵

1; one year, two, three. This applies, for example, to housing bonds, where the interest rate is relatively low, but we are sure that the money will be available when we call it. At the beginning of the crisis, when it was not yet known when the stores would open, we calculated a pessimistic scenario for the entire group, which was based on minus CZK 250 million in cash flow over the next six months. Thanks to partial preparation for the crisis, we could withstand such a failure.

Don’t you expect the second wave in the pessimistic scenario?

I mainly hope that when the second wave comes, the state knows how to stop it relatively quickly. For 14 days everyone will wear veils, there may not be sports matches, but maybe no one will close stores or restaurants anymore. Then I think that thanks to the veils we can reduce the rate of infection by, say, 70 percent. We can’t do what we do now.

You said that under the impression of the crisis you invested in things with a rapid return, on the other hand you bought the union’s house in Prague. That’s a pretty long-term return, right?

Yes, but we decided on that investment more than two years ago. In connection with this, we were also more conservative when it comes to other investments. And most of that investment is on credit.

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