Normans profit forecast cut

FRENCH construction group Saint Gobain, which owns Jersey company Normans, has cut its net profit forecast for the year.

Interim figures released this week show operating income to be down 4.2 per cent year to around £1.6 billion on sales that have risen 1.7 per cent to £17.5 billion. At constant exchange rates, this reflects a 2.3 per cent drop in operating income and a 4.9 per cent increase in sales.

With fears about the economy in the United States and the construction market in Europe, especially the UK and Spain, ‘losing steam’ along with rising commodity and energy prices, the company has adjusted its full-year objectives.

From aims of ‘modest’ growth, the company now forecasts net profit ‘close to that recorded in 2007’ which stood at around £1.7 billion. However Tim Darwin, operation director of Normans (pictured), does not believe that Jersey will be affected in the near future. ‘Because Jersey is completely separate, while there may be a building slump in the UK it won’t necessarily hit Jersey. If it did, it wouldn’t be for 18 months to two years.’

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