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The Saint-Gobain Group, Courbevoie, France, reported sales for the first half of 2009 were €18.7 billion (US$26.6 billion), down 15.5% from the first half of 2008. Profit declined 88.1% to €128 million (US$182.2 million).The group saw negative organic growth of 15.5% for the period.
All of the group's business sectors posted declines.
The continued decline of both construction and industrial markets in the US and Western Europe, as well as in most Asian and emerging countries, contributed to the steep declines in Building Distribution and Construction Products.
Sales in the Construction Products segment declined 15.3% on a like-for-like basis. Increased prices failed to offset the continuing fall in sales volumes, particularly in Interior Solutions, which fell 19.5%.
Building Distribution like-for-like sales fell 14.5% in the first half of the year, led by declines in the UK and Spain.
The Group has taken advantage of the crisis to reinforce its core assets, including the overhaul of industrial and commercial facilities and the selective closure Building Distribution branches experiencing structural difficulties, while maintaining the core commercial network.