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Saint-Gobain in 53.3% profits growth

Saint-Gobain has posted a 53.3% growth in first-half net profits to €768m and said a strong sales growth had confirmed the recovery in volumes seen in 2010.

Sales were up 6.9% to €20.8bn, while operating profits were 19% up to €1.72bn.

The company said the results confirmed the gradual improvement in businesses linked to the residential construction sector in Europe.

The Building Distribution division, which includes the Jewson and International Timber businesses in the UK, rebounded strongly during the first half, posting 7.3% organic growth, spurred by a strong rise in sales volumes in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.

“In contrast, trading was more uneven in the UK and eastern Europe, and remains very tough in southern Europe,” it said.

The division’s operating margin was up to 3.6% from 2.4%.

“We expect the underlying trends observed since the beginning of the year to continue in the six months to December 31,” it said.

Saint-Gobain recently acquired the Build Center chain from Wolseley.

Source : Timber Trades Journal Online

28 October 2011
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