Compagnie de Saint Gobain S.A. Business Report FY ended Dec. 2014

Recent Years

Financial Overview

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 * FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 Rate of change (%) Factors
Net Sales 41,054 41,761 (1.7) -
EBITDA 4,151 4,161 (0.2) -
Flat Glass
Sales 4,862 4,778 1.8 1)
High-Performance Materials
Sales 4,119 3,989 3.3 -

* 2013: restated in line with IFRS 10-11 and IFRIC 21.

1) Sales of Automotive Glazing
-The automotive Flat Glass business continued to report small gains. Healthy trading was confirmed in Asia and emerging countries, despite the slowdown in Brazil, fuelled in particular by the downturn in the automotive market.

New Plant

-The Company announced that it has inaugurated a new flat glass (float) production plant in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, India. With a total investment of EUR 140 million, this line started production in March 2014. This float line covers a surface area of 27 acres and has an annual production capacity of 300,000 metric tons of flat glass. It is the Company's fourth float line in the country and it produces glass mainly for the Indian construction and automotive markets. (From a press release on October 27, 2014)

Joint Venture

-The Company and Central Glass Co., Ltd. have agreed to establish a 50-50 joint venture (JV) for producing and selling automotive glass in Indonesia. The new JV, tentatively named PT Central Saint-Gobain Sekurit Indonesia, will be established in the eastern part of Jakarta in December 2014. The total investment amount is undisclosed. The JV will start operations of its new plant with an annual production capacity of automotive glass for 500,000 units of vehicles in early 2016 to supply the products mainly for the Indonesian market. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on September 8, 2014)

R&D Expenditures

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013 FY ended Dec. 31, 2012
Overall 402 429 479

R&D Expenditure

-In 2014, 3,700 team members worked on nearly 900 research projects.

R&D Centers

-The Group has seven major cross-business research centers that serve all Activities, thus optimizing synergies between them.

  • Cavaillon, France : Centre de Recherche et d’Études Européen (CREE)
  • Thourotte, France : Centre de Recherche et de Développement de Chantereine (CRDC)
  • Herzogenrath, Germany : Herzogenrath Research & Development Centre (HRDC)
  • Northboro, MA, U.S. : Northboro Research & Development Center (NRDC)
  • Aubervilliers, France : Saint-Gobain Recherche (SGR)
  • Shanghai, China : Saint-Gobain Research Shanghai (SGRS)
  • Chennai, India : Saint-Gobain Research India (SGRI)


-In 2014, the Company filed over 350 new patents.

Product Development

-In the automotive market, the Group continuously innovates (lightweighter glass, more effective door seals, better passenger compartment insulation) to address the current challenges faced by major automotive companies: reducing fuel consumption, promoting occupant safety and comfort (acoustical, thermal, etc.).

Extremely thin laminated glass windshield
-In 2014, through a co-development with Renault, Saint-Gobain Sekurit perfected an extremely thin laminated glass windshield (3 mm thick, versus 4.5 mm normally), which preserves the mechanical and acoustic qualities of the glass. The new product which will also be used for side windows and rear-view mirrors, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

New lead-free soldering technology

-The Company has developed a new lead-free soldering technology for automotive glazing and started its promotion to Japanese automakers. The Company will propose that the new technology may be introduced with less cost and time as it can use existing lead-soldering facilities to produce lead-free glass. In Europe from January 2016, End-of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive will prohibit the usage of lead, designating it as a hazardous substance for heatable wires of automotive glazing that prevents water condensation. Since import of vehicles made of lead materials will also be forbidden, Japanese and other non-European automakers as well as European manufacturers are forced to consider a countermeasure. In the future, it is expected that the usage of lead will be prohibited worldwide. The Company intends to encourage automakers to prepare for the move in early stages. (From an article in the Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun on August 27, 2014)

Capital Expenditure

(in million EUR)
FY ended Dec. 31, 2014 FY ended Dec. 31, 2013
Overall 1,437 1,354
-Flat Glass 235 234
-High-Performance Materials 183 178

-In 2015, the Company will set up its capital expenditure to around EUR 1,600 million, the priority being growth capex outside Western Europe.