Saint-Gobain: First-Quarter 2014 Sales

                    Saint-Gobain: First-Quarter 2014 Sales  Sales at €9,874 million powered by good organic growth  PR Newswire  PARIS, April 29, 2014  PARIS, April 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --    oOrganic growth at 6.8%, driven partly by favorable weather conditions in     Europe   oSales prices remain upbeat, gaining 1.2%   oNegative currency impact of 3.7%   oOngoing gradual improvement in our Western European markets except in     France; continued vigorous momentum in Asia and emerging countries   oMarkets in North America robust, but affected by harsh winter weather  Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Saint-Gobain, said:   "Good first-quarter trading reflects favorable trends in our markets as well as the positive weather impact in Europe. In view of this and thanks to the roll-out of our action plan priorities, we can confirm our objective of a clear like-for-like improvement in operating income."    Consolidated sales came in at €9,874million, up2.6%, or 6.8% like-for-like (constant exchange rates and Group structure).  Exchange rates continued to have a negative impact (-3.7%), especially in industrial Business Sectors, due to the depreciation of certain currencies (mainly in Latin America, the US and Scandinavia).  Changes in Group structure had a slightly negative impact of -0.5%.  Volumes climbed 5.6%, buoyed by upward trends on our markets and a very favorable basis for comparison in terms of weather conditions in Europe. Working days had a slightly positive impact of around 0.7%.  Thanks to the Group's priority focus on sales prices, the price effect was a positive 1.2%, including 1.8% for industrial Business Sectors amid low raw material and energy cost inflation.                                                             Change on                                              Change on     a                              Sales           an actual comparable                  Sales                             Q1 2013   Sales  structure structure  Like-for-like   Q1 2013     EURm                   Restated* Q1 2014   basis     basis       change      Published     BUSINESS SECTOR     Innovative     Materials[1]             2,175    2,175    0.0%      (0.5%)       4.9%         2,211     Flat Glass               1,163    1,159   (0.3%)     (0.3%)       4.5%         1,200     High-Performance     Materials                1,014    1,018    0.4%      (0.6%)       5.4%         1,014      Construction     Products[1]              2,736    2,757    0.8%       2.1%        7.4%         2,754     Interior Solutions       1,367    1,452    6.2%       6.2%        10.9%        1,367     Exterior Solutions       1,381    1,318   (4.6%)     (2.1%)       3.9%         1,399      Building Distribution    4,110    4,361    6.1%       6.6%        8.1%         4,110      Packaging     (Verallia)[2]             835      822    (1.6%)     (1.6%)       2.2%          835      Internal sales and     misc.                    (234)    (241)     ---       ---          ---         (236)      GEOGRAPHIC AREA     France                   2,790    2,872    2.9%       2.8%        2.8%         2,803     Other Western European     countries                3,798    4,150    9.3%       9.2%        10.2%        3,804     North America            1,552    1,436   (7.5%)     (5.4%)      (1.4%)        1,556     Emerging countries and     Asia                     1,908    1,905   (0.2%)      0.6%        14.5%        1,943     Internal sales           (426)    (489)     ---       ---          ---         (432)      GROUP                    9,622    9,874    2.6%       3.1%        6.8%         9,674  * 2013 figures restated to reflect the impacts of the amended IFRS 11.  ^[^1^] Including inter-division eliminations.  ^[^2^] Including Verallia North America, which will be deconsolidated with effect from April 11, 2014.  Like-for-like performance of Group Business Sectors  Innovative Materials sales advanced 4.9%.    oFlat Glass confirmed its recovery (up 4.5%), driven by brisk automotive     markets in all regions. The construction market in Western Europe improved     slightly in volume terms, although sales prices do not yet reflect the     increases currently being implemented. Asia and emerging countries     continued to enjoy very strong momentum.   oHigh-Performance Materials(HPM) delivered 5.4% organic growth powered by     Asia and emerging countries as well as Western Europe, across all of its     businesses. North America was down slightly due to the decline in Ceramics     and the negative impact of harsh winter weather.  Construction Products(CP) sales rose 7.4%, buoyed by Europe and by Asia and emerging countries.    oInterior Solutions reported a 10.9% rise in sales and had a very good     quarter in all of its regions. The US remained on an upward trend in terms     of both prices (particularly for plasterboard) and volumes, spurred by     good momentum in construction markets. Asia and emerging countries put in     another very good performance. Volumes were up in all Western European     countries, aided by favorable weather conditions.   oExterior Solutions posted a 3.9% increase in sales, bolstered by strong     growth in Industrial Mortars in all of its regions and healthy trading in     Pipe. US Exterior Products reported gains in March, after a very tough     start to the year caused by the harsh winter weather.  Building Distribution sales rallied strongly, up 8.1%, boosted by much better weather than in first-quarter 2013 and by the gradual improvement in most construction markets in Europe. The UK, Germany, Nordic countries and Eastern Europe delivered a strong first-quarter performance. France was up only slightly against weak first-quarter 2013 comparatives. Solid renovation activity offset the sharp contraction in new-builds. Brazil contributed to the Business Sector's good growth.  Packaging(Verallia) delivered 2.2% organic growth, driven mainly by volumes both in Europe and in Latin America. Sales prices are upbeat in Latin America in a highly inflationary environment but fell slightly in some European countries due to competitive pressure. The Group's North American business - whose sale was finalized on April 11, 2014 and which will be deconsolidated with effect from that date - performed in line with first-quarter 2013.  Like-for-like analysis by geographic area   In accordance with the scenario described in February:    oIn France (up 2.8%), sales were lifted by improved renovation activity and     by the favorable weather impact, but continued to suffer from a     contraction in the market for new-builds.   oIn otherWesternEuropean countries, sales climbed 10.2%, with the rise     amplified by better weather conditions. All countries reported gains,     particularly Germany, the UK and to a lesser extent Scandinavia.   oNorth America reported a 1.4% fall in sales. Harsh winter weather hit     Exterior Products and certain industrial businesses particularly hard.     Interior Solutions continued to report vigorous trading in a buoyant     market.   oAsiaand emerging countries posted 14.5% sales growth and continued to     deliver an excellent performance in all regions, despite fears of a     slowdown in certain countries.  Update on asbestos claims in the US and on the automotive glass fine  Some 1,000 claims were filed against CertainTeed in the first quarter of 2014, on a par with the same period in 2013. At the same time, around 1,000 claims were settled, also in line with 2013. As a result, the total number of outstanding claims is stable compared with end-2013, at 43,000.  Further to the decision of the General Court of the European Union to reduce the automotive glass fine from €880 million to €715 million, the Group decided it would pay the fine, leading to a write-back of the provision for €207million.  2014 outlook  The first quarter confirms that the uptrends first seen in the second half of 2013 should continue throughout 2014:    oIn Western Europe, after a first quarter boosted by very favorable weather     conditions, our markets should continue to improve gradually, led by     growth in the UK and Germany.   oIn North America, after a first-quarter performance affected by harsh     winter weather, the Group will benefit from good momentum in the     construction market and improved industrial markets.   oIn Asiaand emerging countries, our businesses should deliver solid     organic growth.   oLastly, household consumption markets, more challenging in Southern     Europe, could continue to be affected by competitive pressure on prices.  The Group is therefore confirming its action plan priorities for the year:    oincreasing sales prices amid low raw material and energy cost inflation;   opursuing cost cutting measures in order to unlock additional savings of     €450million (calculated on the 2013cost base);   ostepping up capital expenditure to around €1,500 million, the priority     being growth capex outside Western Europe (around €550 million) and     businesses with reduced capital intensity;   omaintaining its commitment to invest in R&D in order to support its     strategy of differentiation and the roll-out of high value-added     solutions.  Thanks to the roll-out of these measures and to the better trends in our various markets observed as from the second half of 2013, wecontinue toexpect a clear improvement in operating incomeon a comparable structure and currency basis.  Financial calendar  First-half 2014 results: July 30,2014, after close of trading on the Paris Bourse.  Analyst/Investor relations  Gaetano Terrasini +33-1-47-62-32-52 Vivien Dardel +33-1-47-62-44-29  Press relations  Sophie Chevallon +33-1-47-62-30-48 Susanne Trabitzsch +33-1-47-62-43-25  SOURCE Saint-Gobain  
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