Saint-Gobain reported a sales growth of 3.3% for the first quarter of 2023.

On a reported basis, Saint-Gobain’s sales progressed by 3.3% to €12.4 billion, including a negative currency effect of 0.5%.

Like-for-like sales progressed by 4.7%, with all segments reporting growth.

In a difficult geopolitical and macroeconomic environment, Saint-Gobain continued to outperform its markets thanks to its strategic positioning at the heart of energy and decarbonisation challenges, and to the strength of its local organisation by country.

In an environment that remains inflationary, the group continued to serve and support its customers while managing energy and raw material cost evolution.

Highlights include:

  • Organic growth: +4.7%.
  • Good level of pricing, helping to generate a positive price-cost spread.
  • Confidence in the 2023 outlook: operating margin between 9% and 11%.

Prices were up by 10.2% over the quarter, owing to price increases implemented last year and certain additional measures taken locally at the start of 2023, generating a positive price-cost spread overall.

Volumes were down by 5.5% with a moderate market slowdown as expected, which reflects a contrasting situation: a marked decline in new construction but good resilience overall in renovation.

The group is proactively taking the commercial and industrial measures necessary to adapt to its environment and to continue its excellent operating performance in order to deliver an attractive operating margin despite difficult markets.

The group structure impact reduced sales by 0.9% and results from the on-going optimisation of the group’s profile, both in terms of disposals – mainly in distribution (UK, Poland and Denmark), glass processing activities, crystals & detectors and ceramics for the steel industry – and in terms of acquisitions, mainly in construction chemicals (GCP Applied Technologies “GCP” and Impac in Mexico), in exterior products (Kaycan in North America) and in insulation (Rockwool India Pvt Ltd.).

High Performance Solutions (HPS): strong sales growth

HPS sales were up by 9.0% over the quarter, benefiting from the strength of its innovation, a recovery in automotive in Europe and a good level of sales prices.

  • Businesses serving global construction customers saw a 50% rise in sales as reported, due mainly to the integration of GCP. The good trends in Chryso sales continued, driven by innovation in decarbonisation solutions for construction.
  • The mobility business saw sales progress by 20.6%, supported by the gradual catch-up in sales prices, an outperformance linked to its strong technological positioning in electric vehicles, and a rebound in volumes in Europe. The business continued to enjoy supportive conditions in the Americas and in Asia.
  • Businesses serving industry grew by 4.1%, driven by sales prices and strong demand for cutting-edge materials and decarbonisation technologies.

2023 outlook

In a difficult macroeconomic environment, Saint-Gobain’s priority is to continue to demonstrate its resilience by consolidating its high operating performance level, thanks to its pertinent strategic positioning and its commercial and industrial initiatives enabling it to adapt proactively to the specific market trends in each country.

Full report available here.