Saint-Gobain sees 2007 turnover rise in eastern Europe

French glass and building materials producer Saint-Gobain expects its turnover in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey to increase by 15% to EUR 350 million (USD 497.6 million) in 2007 thanks to the growing c…

French glass and building materials producer Saint-Gobain expects its turnover in Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey to increase by 15% to EUR 350 million (USD 497.6 million) in 2007 thanks to the growing construction sector in the region, a senior company official said on 24 October 2007. “We follow the market, which grows by 10% to 15% yearly [] This year“s figure is EUR 350 million,” Saint-Gobain regional manager for southeast Europe, Olivier Lluansi, told SeeNews. He added that sales in Romania and Bulgaria accounted for about two thirds of the total. The construction sector in the three countries have been on the rise for the past few years as the entry of Bulgaria and Romania in the European Union in January 2007 has boosted growth. Mr. Lluansi added that the three countries fitted well into the company“s strategy to target transitional countries. However, Saint-Gobain has no plans for further expansion of its production activities in southeast Europe as growth rates are not yet sufficient, he added. “We would hardly be the first to enter the market,” he said. Bulgaria“s economy grew by 6.4% in real terms on the year in the 1H 2007, faster than the revised growth of 6.0% in the same period a year ago, and the government expects it to grow by more than 6.0% in 2007. Romania“s GDP is expected to grow by 6.5% in real terms in 2007 and 2008. The French company earlier in 2007 opened a EUR 100 million flat glass factory in the country.