Saint Gobain’s first quarter volumes were ahead by 7.6%, having fallen by 1.7% in the same period last year, while prices improved by an average 2.0%. Allowing for exchange rate effects, turnover improved by 12.2% to €9,799m. Glass and high performance materials raised turnover by 13.9% to €1,359m and by 12.9% to €1,040m respectively.
In construction products, interior materials such as insulation and plasterboard were helped by higher insulation standards and did better than exterior products such as pipes, industrial mortars and roofing, rising by 10.2% to €1,346m compared with +7.6% to €1,323m. Building materials distribution recorded a 13.3% advance to €4,151m, with Germany being particularly strong but other important markets such as France, Great Britain and Scandinavia also advancing well. The smaller packaging division, which is to be floated on the stock market under the name of Verallia, showed the smallest increase, of 8.3%, to €852m.
Emerging countries were boosted by improved performances in the Asia/Pacific region, in Eastern Europe and in Latin America, raised turnover by 23.0% to €1,979m. North America showed the weakest performance with a 4.2% improvement and that improvement was largely in non-construction products.