Jewson and Graham parent company Saint-Gobain have seen sales fall 15% for the first quarter of the year.
The French building materials group said they were bracing themselves for an “extremely challenging” first half after posting consolidated sales for first-quarter 2009 of €8,782 million, compared with €10,301 million for the same period a year earlier.
Changes in Group structure accounted for a 1.9% increase in sales. This was almost entirely offset by the 1.8% negative currency effect, due for the most part to the slide in the British pound and Brazilian real against the euro.
The sharp downturn in trading conditions from the fourth-quarter of 2008 intensified in the first quarter of 2009 as the economic climate continued to deteriorate, with virtually every country across the globe affected.
In addition, sales in the first two months of the year were weighed down by particularly unfavorable weather conditions in both Europe and the United States.
“Construction markets continued to decline and the downturn in industrial markets observed at the end of last year deepened in the first quarter, impacting sharply the high-performance materials and flat glass businesses,” the group said in a statement.