Saint-Gobain: AGM votes on dividend; no change in asbestos claims

At the annual general meeting (AGM) of French glass and construction materials group Saint-Gobain on 5 June 2003, shareholders voted to pay a EUR 1.13 (USD 1.34) net dividend per share for 2002 on 23 …

At the annual general meeting (AGM) of French glass and construction materials group Saint-Gobain on 5 June 2003, shareholders voted to pay a EUR 1.13 (USD 1.34) net dividend per share for 2002 on 23 June 2003, a 0.4% year-on-year increase. The group posted a net profit of EUR 1.051 billion (USD 1.245 billion) for 2002, compared to EUR 1.057 billion (USD 1.252 billion) for 2001. Operating profit rose by 0.2% to EUR 2.6 billion (USD 3.08 billion). Turnover was down by 0.4% to EUR 30.274 billion (USD 35.866 billion). Net debt fell by 10% to EUR 7.0 billion (USD 8.293 billion). The company“s industrial investments totalled EUR 1.431 billion (USD 1.695 billion), flat on 2001. Speaking at the meeting Saint-Gobain chairman Jean-Louis Beffa said that it had seen no great change in the number of asbestos claims against it. “The beginning of 2003 has not shown any significant change in the number of asbestos claims”. Saint-Gobain group includes a large number of companies, groups and organisations, which Companie de Saint-Gobain controls directly or indirectly. The group manufactures and distributes building materials, glass and high-performance materials.