Saint-Gobain CEO concerned at fall in European new construction

Pierre Andre Chalendar, chief executive of glass and construction materials giant Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA said 1 December 2008 he has seen a “worrying” fall in new building in Europe and expects …

Pierre Andre Chalendar, chief executive of glass and construction materials giant Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA said 1 December 2008 he has seen a “worrying” fall in new building in Europe and expects the 4Q to be more difficult for the auto and construction sectors at home. Speaking on BFM radio, Mr. de Chalendar said the company fared better in France over the 3Q 2008 than in other countries but that the 4Q “will be more difficult for everything linked to the auto sector as automobile constructors reduce their production”. He added that in the domestic construction sector, “we are starting to experience a real slowdown”. Mr. de Chalendar also repeated that the company sees the European Commission“s November decision to fine the company EUR 896 million in an auto glass producers cartel case as “disproportionate and exaggerated”. The company has not launched an appeal, however, because it has not yet officially received the decision, he added.