November 26, 2018 / 6:42 AM / 16 days ago

French group St Gobain launches new strategy to improve its results

PARIS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - French construction materials group Saint Gobain launched a new business strategy and management structure which it said would improve margins and result in more cost savings.

St Gobain said it would speed up plans to restructure its portfolio of businesses, in line with a previously-announced target to sell off non-core businesses representing sales of at least 3 billion euros ($3.40 billion).

It also named Benoit Bazin as new chief operating officer and said it would have five new reporting units aimed at aligning its business more closely to its markets.

St Gobain said the new structure was expected to deliver further cost savings of 250 million euros and improve its operating margin by around 40 basis points.

“‘Transform and Grow’ will allow us to unlock substantial additional growth and profitability potential,” said Bazin.

Earlier this year, St Gobain dropped a plan to wrest control of Swiss rival Sika via a minority stake that carried extra voting rights.

$1 = 0.8814 euros Reporting by Gilles Guillaume; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta;

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