Saint Gobain: financial targets confirmed

Laurent Guillot, financial director of French building materials group Saint-Gobain said that targets for an improvement in operating profit and recurring net profit in the second half of 2009, compar…

Laurent Guillot, financial director of French building materials group Saint-Gobain said that targets for an improvement in operating profit and recurring net profit in the second half of 2009, compared to the first half, were confirmed, adding that net profit growth due to cost savings by the end of 2009 will be significant. Cost cuts in 2009 are expected to reach EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.6 billion), with a total target of EUR 1.5 billion for the 2009-2010 period, also foreseeing an increase in profitability as of 2010. Saint-Gobain“s 14% decline in activity during the third quarter of 2009 was deemed as a relative improvement, and is expected to increase in the fourth quarter. Guillot added that the company aimed at keeping up sales prices despite the crisis, and was satisfied to be able to maintain an average rise of 3.8% in 2009, which is the same as in 2008.