UPDATE 1-Saint-Gobain Q1 sales dip 0.5 pct, beat forecasts

* Q1 sales 8.737 bln eur vs Rtrs poll avg 8.575 bln

* Group sticks to target

(Adds further detail)

PARIS, April 22 (BestGrowthStock) – French glass maker Saint-Gobain
(SGOB.PA: ) reported a forecast-beating 0.5 percent decline in
first-quarter sales on Thursday, dragged down by bad weather
conditions in Europe this winter, but helped by a lower euro.

Quarterly revenue reached 8.737 billion euros ($11.74
billion), compared with the average forecast of 8.575 billion
euros from eight analysts in a Reuters poll, having fallen 14
percent in 2009 because of the slump in the housing sector.

The world’s biggest building materials group kept its
outlook unchanged, after saying in February that it expected a
strong rise in 2010 operating income, as recovery in Asia and
emerging countries gather pace. [ID:nLDE61N1XR]

The fall in the euro against most emerging countries’
currencies — in Brazil and Scandinavia in particular —
accounted for a 1.5 percent rise in reported sales, the group
said in a statement.

Like-for-like first-quarter sales were down 2.4 percent at
constant exchange rates.

Activities linked to industrial output and a 22 percent rise
in sales in Asia and Latin America in the first three months of
the year helped the group make up for tougher conditions in
Europe and North America.

But Saint-Gobain said it had seen a sharp improvement in
business in March overall, compared with the first two months of
the year, which were hit by a “very cold winter”.

Investing Advice

(Reporting by Michel Rose, editing by Will Waterman)
($1=.7439 Euro)

UPDATE 1-Saint-Gobain Q1 sales dip 0.5 pct, beat forecasts