Saint-Gobain posts sales increase, citing U.S. residential construction as contributing factor
Saint-Gobain reported first-quarter 2012 sales of €10.2 billion (about $13.4 billion), up 3.7 percent from first quarter 2011. According to a May 3 release, the company saw double-digit organic growth in the United States, driven by businesses linked to residential construction.
“Amid an uncertain economic climate and despite a particularly tough basis for comparison, Saint-Gobain delivered further organic growth in the first quarter of 2012," said Pierre-André de Chalendar, chairman and CEO, in the release. "We continued to raise our sales prices in order to broadly offset the rise in raw material and energy costs over the year. Trading volumes remained satisfactory but varied widely from one region to the next. The rebound in U.S. housing starts helped counter slacker activity in Europe (due partly to harsh weather conditions in February) and the slowdown in Asia," he said.
Sales of flat glass fell 5.6 percent in the quarter, reflecting the slowdown in Asia and emerging countries, the contraction in solar markets and the European automotive industry, and faltering construction activity in Western Europe.