Saint-Gobain first-quarter sales up

French glass and building materials firm Saint-Gobain reported a 0.4% rise in first-quarter sales on 25 April and confirmed its target for net profit growth of between 0 and 4% in 2002. Saint-Gobain s…

French glass and building materials firm Saint-Gobain reported a 0.4% rise in first-quarter sales on 25 April and confirmed its target for net profit growth of between 0 and 4% in 2002. Saint-Gobain said sales in the first three months of the year rose to EUR 7.296 billion from EUR 7.268 billion in the year-ago period, a gain that was held back by falling sales volumes in ceramics, abrasives and plastics. Sales declined 1%, or 2.1% when currency fluctuations are stripped out. “For the rest of 2002, the group confirms its objective of growth in net profit before exceptional items of between 0 and 4%. This objective hinges on a rally in US industrial activity in the second half of 2002,” the company said in a statement. Sales in its main European markets, excluding France, fell 4.7% to EUR 2.997 billion on a like-for-like basis but rose 3.6% to EUR 1.759 billion in North America. In its home market of France, sales were 0.4% lower at EUR 2.271 billion.