PARIS, July 26 Building materials group
Saint-Gobain on Thursday rolled out a fresh
cost-cutting plan as it reported declining first-half earnings,
hit by a market slowdown in Western Europe, and warned that
operating profit in the second half would be slightly lower than
in the first.
Net profit in the first six months of 2012 slumped 34
percent to 506 million euros ($613.45 million), while operating
profit declined 12 percent to 1.51 billion, slightly below a
Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S consensus of 1.535 billion euros.
Sales in the period rose 3.4 percent to 21.66 billion.
"Overall, in view of the deterioration in the economic
climate since the beginning of 2012, we are now expecting for
the year as a whole a measured rise in our sales prices, a
limited decline in our volumes, and second-half operating income
to be moderately down on our first-half performance," Chief
Executive Pierre-Andre de Chalendar said in a statement.
($1 = 0.8248 euros)
(Reporting by Elena Berton; Editing by Christian Plumb)