Saint-Gobain: dividend up, 2005 profits confirmed

France“s Saint-Gobain proposed to raise its dividend by 6.3% on 23 March 2006 and confirmed a slight rise in profits for 2005.
The world“s largest listed building materials group, which reported it…

France“s Saint-Gobain proposed to raise its dividend by 6.3% on 23 March 2006 and confirmed a slight rise in profits for 2005. The world“s largest listed building materials group, which reported its preliminary full-year earnings on 26 January 2006, reconfirmed its target for operating profit growth of 23 to 25% at constant exchange rates in 2006. It reiterated that net profit excluding capital gains or losses would grow 18% to 20% in 2006. The company proposed paying a dividend of EUR 1.36 per share, up from a payout of EUR 1.28 per share in 2005. The 341-year-old French firm, which insulates one in five US homes, posted a 2005 net profit, excluding capital gains, up 6% to EUR 1.32 billion (USD 1.59 billion). Operating income increased 4.6% to EUR 2.87 billion on sales up 8.4% to EUR 34.87 billion.