- Compagnie de Saint-Gobain's like-for-like consolidated sales rose by 1.8% in the first quarter.

Volumes were up 2.3%, improving in all its business sectors and major countries except Brazil, despite a slight dip in prices (down 0.5%) in a more deflationary environment.

This price effect concerned building distribution in particular, especially in France, reflecting a lower cost of goods sold. It also concerned interior solutions in France and Germany along with construction in the US, which benefited from the drop in certain raw material and energy prices.

On a reported basis, sales came in at EUR9,136 million, with a significant 3.0% negative currency impact due mainly to the sharp depreciation in Latin American currencies against the euro, and to a lesser extent in sterling and Norwegian krone.

Chairman and chief executive Pierre-Andre de Chalendar said: "Volumes improved in all regions in the first quarter.

"Trading in France advanced with the exception of Pipe. Other Western European countries reported further growth. Trading in North America bounced back despite lacklustre industrial markets. Emerging markets continued to perform well. Prices dipped slightly as expected, particularly in Western Europe and the US. In this setting, we are continuing to pursue our operational excellence program and confirm our objective of a further like-for-like improvement in operating income."

Business in France stabilised (down 0.2%), hampered by the sharp decline in Pipe. The group said its sales performance reflected the recovery in construction market indicators despite the pressure on prices in a more deflationary environment.

In line with 2015 trends, other Western European countries confirmed their good growth levels (up 2.0%) in all of the group's major markets including Germany.

North America moved up 3.2%, powered mainly by construction, as industrial markets remained uncertain.

Asia and emerging countries delivered further sales growth, at 4.5%, despite the expected deterioration in Brazil and a downturn in business in China.

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