Saint-Gobain: First-Half 2009 Results

First-half 2009: amid a sharp slowdown in markets, acceleration and extension of action plan unveiled at the beginning of the year.

Against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic crisis, the Group has resolutely implemented and extended its action plan.

Cost cutting program extended: €440m in cost savings over the first half; €1,100m over the full year (versus an initial target of €600 million).

Priority given to sales prices: up 1.7% over the period. Acquisition projects put on hold and capital expenditure significantly reduced: down €358m over the first half and down €700m over the full year (versus an initial target reduction of €500 million).

Free cash flow totaling €873m over 12 months, and operating working capital requirement (WCR) reduced by €924m over the 12 months to June 30.

Balance sheet strengthened: €2.4bn of net debt paid down over 12 months and gearing ratio reduced to 66.5% of shareholders’ equity.

Outlook for second-half 2009: barring a further deterioration in the economic environment, operating income and recurring net income should outperform first-half figures.

600450 Saint-Gobain: First-Half 2009 Results glassonweb.com

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