SAINT-GOBAIN PUTS IN PLACE NECESSARY MEASURES TO ADAPT TO THE CORONAVIRUS
Saint-Gobain's businesses are disrupted in the countries impacted by the
coronavirus, with very different situations from one country to another.
Since the start of the health crisis in China, the Group has taken the
necessary measures to ensure the health of its employees, customers,
suppliers and other stakeholders. It is cooperating with the authorities in
each countrywhere it is present.
In terms of its business activity, Saint-Gobain is quickly adapting to the
evolution in demand, aiming for operational continuity, depending on the
health situation and on government decisions in each country, whilst reducing
costs (reduction of teams, partial unemployment or stoppages) and
prioritizing the health of its stakeholders:
- In our distribution activities, which mostly serve trade professionals rather
than the general public, the Group has adjusted its service offering to
customers over the last few days, with new procedures in terms of orders for
collection, delivery and via online and telephone orders; in particular,
certain brands in France that were closed for a few days have progressively
- In our manufacturing activities, sites have made the necessary adjustments
given the impacts of the crisis on the value chain, in particular in the
automotive market. The operation of our factories is continuously adapted as
the situation evolves, in a very flexible manner within the new organization.
In this respect, all of our Chinese factories have restarted operations,
following the rapid improvement in demand.
Given the context, Saint-Gobain is taking all necessary actions to limit the
effects of the pandemic on its operating profit and cash as much as possible:
- Much greater decrease in capital expenditure than the EUR200m reduction
initially planned for 2020 versus 2019 by deferring all possible projects
that were scheduled in the coming months;
- Adaptation of cost structure and postponement of expenses, using local
measures where appropriate, in particular unemployment and partial
- Ever tighter monitoring of working capital evolution.
The Group has a very solid financial position and has the necessary cash and
financing in place to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. As of
December 31, 2019 the Group's cash and cash equivalents stood at EUR5.0
billion. In addition, the financing sources available to the Group have
recently been further reinforced given the current context:
- A new syndicated credit line of EUR2.5 billion, in addition to the confirmed
and undrawn back-up credit lines of EUR4.0 billion;
- Access to the new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) launched by the
European Central Bank on March 18, 2020.
At the publication of its 2019 results Saint-Gobain set out its outlook for
2020 subject to the impact of the coronavirus. Given the pandemic, the
for 2020 is no longer valid and it is not currently possible to evaluate its
impact on the Group's businesses.
The Group will provide an update at the publication of its first-quarter 2020
sales on April 23.
Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions
which are key ingredients in the wellbeing of each of us and the future of
all. They can be found everywhere in our living places and our daily life: in
buildings, transportation, infrastructure and in many industrial applications.
They provide comfort, performance and safety while addressing the challenges
of Asustainable construction, resource efficiency and climate change.
EUR42.6 billion in sales in 2019
Operates in 68 countries
More than 170,000 employees
For more information about Saint-Gobain
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