* Q3 sales rise 2.6 percent to 10.75 billion euros
* Confirms full-year sales, operating profit targets
* Says organic growth could be lower in the fourth quarter
(Adds background, details)
By Elena Berton
PARIS, Oct 25 French building materials group
Saint-Gobain on Tuesday posted a better-than-expected
2.6 percent rise in third-quarter sales, while warning that
a weak economy could take a toll on growth during the final
three months of the year.
Still, Saint-Gobain, which noted "markedly uneven
results from one business and region to the next" confirmed its
full-year sales and operating profit targets.
"Despite a more challenging environment in the last few
months of this year, we confirm our full-year targets of robust
organic growth and a double digit rise in operating income,"
Chief Executive Pierre-Andre de Chalendar said in a statement.
Saint-Gobain said the group's organic growth
could be lower in the fourth quarter because of "deep
uncertainties plaguing the global economy."
The world's largest construction materials company said
sales in the third quarter rose to 10.75 billion euros ($14.9
billion) from 10.48 billion a year earlier, beating expectations
of an average of 10.66 billion in a Reuters poll of 5 analysts.
Strong sales prices as well as buoyant residential
contruction markets in France, Germany and Scandinavia helped
drive sales in the quarter, while business
in Asia and emerging countries continued to grow, Saint-Gobain
The company, which dates back to the 1660s when it made
mirrors for the royal palace in Versailles, produces a wide
range of materials such as insulation, roofing, glass bottles
and plastic film used in Kindle readers.
Saint-Gobain shares closed 3.8 percent lower
at 32.92 euros before the publication of the results, having
lost around 15 percent so far this year, but outperforming the
European construction sector index , which has lost
around 20 percent.
($1 = 0.719 Euros)
(Reporting By Elena Berton, editing by Astrid Wendlandt and