France: Saint-Gobain has grown its sales in the first half of 2017 despite a reported Euro220m impact from a cyber attack in June 2017. The building materials producer's sales rose by 4.4% year-on-year to Euro20.4bn in the first half of 2017 from Euro19.5bn in the same period in 2016. Its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose by 5.8% to Euro2.07bn from Euro1.96bn. It attributed the sales growth to rising prices, increased sales volumes and positive currency exchange rates.
"The first half of 2017 confirmed the encouraging trends seen in 2016, particularly in France. Excluding the one-off impact of the cyber-attack, the group grew at its fastest rate since the first half of 2011 translating into double-digit growth in operating income. The focus on sales prices paid off, allowing us to offset the rise in raw material and energy costs at group level. Overall, the results were in line with our expectations, and we can therefore confirm with confidence our 2017 objectives," said Pierre-André de Chalendar, the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Saint-Gobain.
By business line the group's Interior Solutions division of its Construction Products (CP) business reported an organic growth of 4.1% in the first half of the year, along with both rising sales volumes and prices, despite rising raw material and energy costs. Trading in Western Europe and in Asia and emerging countries improved in terms of both volumes and prices, with prices continuing to rise during the second quarter. North America also advanced, with a slight acceleration in prices since the first quarter.
With respect the cyber attack the group said that the full year impact of the incident upon sales is expected to be under Euro250m. Just over half the impact of the attack affected its Building Distribution business and the rest affected its CP unit. Geographically, the worst affected areas were in Western Europe, especially in Scandinavia, Germany and France.