Sperian's 3Q Sales Down 6.7 Percent, Reiterates 2008 Growth Target

Sales for Sperian Protection, the big Paris-based PPE manufacturer, fell by 6.7 percent (not including currency effects) in 2008's third quarter, the company announced today. Total sales from continuing operations were 174.8 million euros ($236 million in U.S. dollars), down from 193.3 million euros in 2007's third quarter, when the company's Nacre unit posted a particularly strong quarterly growth related to shipments of avian flu respiratory masks, the company said.

Sales are up 4.2 percent for the first nine months of this year when currency effects are excluded. Total sales through the first nine months of 2008 were 553.1 million euros ($746 million). The company said it still is targeting organic sales growth of about 3.5 percent for 2008.

Sales slowed by 6.0 percent versus last year in Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and by 1.5 percent in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the earnings release.

"In an environment shaped by the world economic slowdown over the past year, Sperian Protection has maintained sales at a good level over the first nine months of the year, validating our business model. In adapting to the current financial crisis, the Group is depending on its strong marketing and financial fundamentals: innovation, proximity to end customers, trust in the Sperian brand, strong cash flow generation, and a solid balance sheet."

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