Compagnie de Saint Gobain S.A. Business Report up until FY ended Dec. 2013

Business Highlights

Recent Years

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 42,025 43,198 (2.7) -
EBITDA 4,189 4,413 (5.1) -
Flat Glass
Sales 4,957 5,079 (2.4) 1)
High-Performance Materials
Sales 3,987 4,264 (6.5) -

1) Sales of Automotive Glazing
-Sales remained stable in Europe, but rose sharply in fast-growing countries, particularly in Brazil, Mexico and Asia. To partner customers more effectively, the business pursued its expansion in fast-growing regions, increasing production capacity in particular in Asia, Eastern Europe, Mexico and Morocco.


-In 2013, the Company announced that it has finalized the acquisition of LS Kunststofftechnologie GmbH, a German manufacturer of high-performance polymer components for the automotive, medical and industrial markets. It has two production sites, one in Wertheim and the other in Neuhaus, and more than 220 employees. (From a press release on December 4, 2013)

-In 2011, the Company and N.V. Bekaert S.A. have signed an agreement regarding the sale of Bekaert's Specialty Films activities, Solar Gard Specialty Films, to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic Corporation, an Ohio, U.S.-based corporation of the Saint-Gobain group. The purchase price is estimated to be approximately EUR 10 million. The transaction covers the production facilities in San Diego (U.S.), Zulte (Belgium) and Suzhou (Jiangsu Province, China), the operations under development in China, and all sales and service centers worldwide. The companies expect to close the deal in the course of 2011. Solar Gard Specialty Films develops, manufactures and distributes window films and other specialty films for automotive and other markets. (From a press release on August 10, 2011)

Joint Venture

-In 2011, Central Glass Co., Ltd. announced on October 11 that the company will establish an automotive glass production company in Qingdao City, Shandong Province, China through a joint investment with the Saint-Gobain Group of France. Central Glass and Saint-Gobain will create an investment company (tentative name: Central Saint-Gobain Investment) in Japan, which will invest in Saint-Gobain's planned, second production company in China. The new production facility will be formed in November 2011 and start production in September 2012. It will increase its production capacity in steps, aiming to make glass for 1.5 million vehicles a year by 2014. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on October 12, 2011)


-In 2013, the Company announced that its new SGS Lightweight windscreen is installed on the Ferrari LaFerrari. Saint-Gobain Sekurit's technology enabled the supercar manufacturer to save 1.3 kg on the windscreen alone. The new windscreen with a thickness of 4mm reduces the glazing weight by 12 percent, while traditional windscreens are mostly 4.5mm or 5.0mm thick. (From a press release on June 1, 2013)

-In 2011, the new all-weather windshield will be introduced at the new VW "Passat".


R&D Expenditures

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012 FY ended Dec. 31, 2011
Overall 429 479 431

R&D Expenditure

-In 2013, 3,700 team members worked on nearly 900 research projects.

R&D Facilities

-With the opening of a new center in Chennai, India in 2013, Saint-Gobain now has seven cross-functional R&D centers that serve all its Activities (Aubervilliers, Cavaillon and Chantereine in France, Herzogenrath in Germany, Northboro in the United States, Shanghai in China and Chennai in India). The Group also has a dozen research centers dedicated to specific Activities and around 100 development units worldwide.

R&D Activities

-The Group files close to 400 patents every year.

Product Development

Heat reflective windshield
-CoolCoat, is a heat reflective windshield that reduces the need for air conditioning, thereby enhancing vehicle comfort while lowering fuel consumption, for an environmentally friendly result.

Lightweight windshield
-Lightweight, is 10% lighter than a traditional windshield, making for lower total vehicle weight and reduced energy consumption.

ClimaCoat windscreens
-In 2011, the Company developed new SGS ClimaCoat windscreens. This technology has two key functions. Heated in winter, it rapidly defrosts and demists the windscreen of ice and mist. In summer, solar rays are reflected and with this the amount of heat entering the car is reduced. End of April 2011, the new all-weather windshield will be introduced as -Klimakomfortverglasung- at the new VW "Passat". (From a press release on April 19, 2011)

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
  FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012
Overall 1,354 1,773
-Flat Glass 234 459
-High-Performance Materials 178 236

-In 2014, the Company will set up its capital expenditure to around EUR 1,500 million, the priority being growth capex outside Western Europe (around EUR 550 million).

Investments Outside France

-In 2012, a new state-of-the-art plant was inaugurated in Qingdao, China to effectively meet Asia’s growing demand for films for architectural glazing and automotive applications.

-In 2011, the Company and NSG Group have announced plans to build a new float glass line in Argentina. The plant, to be constructed at Exaltacion de la Cruz in the state of Buenos Aires, will be the second float line operated by Vidrieria Argentina S.A (VASA), the NSG Group/Saint Gobain Glass joint venture in Argentina. With a planned daily output of 800 tonnes, the plant will allow VASA to enhance its service in Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia. The new line is due to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014. (From a press release on October 28, 2011)