Saint-Gobain, the French construction products giant whose subsidiaries include CertainTeed, reported today that its sales in North America grew 10.3% in the third quarter from the year-earlier period to reach 1.44 billion Euros ($2.02 billion). But exchange-rate differences and some structural changes accounted for most of those gains. On a comparable structure basis, sales climbed 9.5%, it said, and when currency changes are figured in as well, sales actually declined 1.5% from a year earlier.

Sales of construction products worldwide rose 3.4% to 2.85 billion Euros on an actual basis and 2.5% on a comparable structure basis. But again, those gains came in part from converting the local-currency figures into Euros. On a comparable structure and currency basis, construction products sales fell 3.1%, Saint-Gobain said.

It didn't reveal figures for CertainTeed or the United States alone.

"[B]usinesses related to North American construction markets were hit by therepercussions of over-optimistic expectations from distributors, whose restocking had inflated first-half figures," the company said. Sales of roofing products in the United States dropped sharply, it said, without revealing any particular numbers.

The slowdown in construction products sales in North America appears to be continuing into the third quarter, it said, adding: "Conditions in the construction market should remain challenging."