Glass maker Saint-Gobian sees 2008 profit fall

Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, one of the World’s largest producers of glass for the construction and automobile industries, Friday said it would sell around €1.5 billion ($1.91 billion) in new shares to bolster its capital amid the deepening global economic crisis.

Saint-Gobain stock plunged on the news and and in midmorning trading in Paris was down 15.7 percent at €23.59, it’s lowest level since last October.Saint-Gobain, a company that can trace its origins back to the 17th century and a commission for the Palace of  Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, also abandoned its earnings targets and slashed its dividend in half as it reported falling profit and prepared for “an extremely challenging” 2009.The suburban Paris-based company said recurring net profit slid 9.5 percent to €2.11 billion (US$2.66 billion) last year on a 0.9 percent uptick in sales to €43.4 billion.Businesses related to construction markets in Europe were particularly affected in the fourth quarter, as the financial crisis worsened and British and Spanish construction markets’ contraction accelerated, Saint-Gobain said.Read more. Compagnie de Saint-Gobain, one of the World’s largest producers of glass for the construction and automobile industries, Friday said it would sell around €1.5 billion ($1.91 billion) in new shares to bolster its capital amid the deepening global economic crisis.

Saint-Gobain stock plunged on the news and and in midmorning trading in Paris was down 15.7 percent at €23.59, it’s lowest level since last October.

Saint-Gobain, a company that can trace its origins back to the 17th century and a commission for the Palace of  Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, also abandoned its earnings targets and slashed its dividend in half as it reported falling profit and prepared for “an extremely challenging” 2009.

The suburban Paris-based company said recurring net profit slid 9.5 percent to €2.11 billion (US$2.66 billion) last year on a 0.9 percent uptick in sales to €43.4 billion.

Businesses related to construction markets in Europe were particularly affected in the fourth quarter, as the financial crisis worsened and British and Spanish construction markets’ contraction accelerated, Saint-Gobain said.

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