Saint-Gobain: '06 Profit Rose 30 Percent

Compagnie de Saint-Gobain SA said Thursday that net profit rose 30 percent last year on strong demand across its entire portfolio of construction and building materials, according to its provisional estimate of 2006 results.

Paris-based Saint-Gobain, one of the world's largest glass makers, reported estimated net profit for 2006 of 1.64 billion euros ($2.13 billion), up from 1.26 billion euros in 2005 and in line with the 1.66 billion euros forecast by analysts.

The company, which is scheduled to report its definitive 2006 earnings in March, also said its earnings before interest and taxes rose by a better-than-expected 30 percent to 3.71 billion euros ($4.81 billion) last year, up from 2.86 billion euros in 2005.

This year, Saint-Gobain said it expects "robust" growth in EBIT and double-digit growth in net profit, excluding capital gains and losses on asset sales.

The performance beat Saint-Gobain's own guidance made last year of EBIT growth between 27 percent and 28 percent and net profit growth between 25 percent and 26 percent.

600450 Saint-Gobain: '06 Profit Rose 30 Percent glassonweb.com

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