Saint-Gobain sales jump, helped by lockdown renovation projects

PARIS, April 29 (Reuters) - French construction materials group Saint-Gobain’s first-quarter sales rose 14.3% to 10.38 billion euros ($12.57 billion), buoyed in part by European customers renovating properties during COVID-19 lockdowns, it said on Thursday.

The company said it also benefited from stronger construction activity in Asia and the Americas, where economies are rebounding faster from pandemic-related slumps than Europe, Saint-Gobain’s biggest market.

Saint-Gobain confirmed its 2021 full-year outlook. It said in February that for 2021 it was targeting a strong increase in operating income, leading to a margin up more than 100 basis points from the 7.7% reported in 2018. ($1 = 0.8255 euros)

Reporting by Christian Lowe and Juliette Portala Editing by David Goodman