Saint-Gobain’s flat glass segment increased sales by 6.5 percent in 2016, according to the company’s latest financial release.

The increase in glass sales was led by the construction and automotive sectors in Asia and emerging countries.

“In Western Europe, construction volumes and prices both improved, benefiting from higher float prices and, as from the second half, from a rise in the price of downstream glass; automotive glass stabilized at a good level,” the release reads. “This organic growth, combined with the optimization of operating leverage over recent years, resulted in a further increase in operating margin, up from 7.9 percent to 9.1 percent, and 9.5 percent in second-half 2016.”

The company as a whole reported 2016 sales of EUR 39,093 million ($41,430 million). This was down 1.3 percent from 2015 but up 2.6 percent like-for-like.

“Saint-Gobain showed strong progress in its 2016 results,” Saint-Gobain CEO Pierre-André de Chalendar said. “We saw the benefits of our optimization efforts and of our development in emerging markets, in a more supportive economic environment than 2015. … The group also benefited from its focus on pricing against a backdrop of lower energy and raw material costs. In 2017, Saint-Gobain will maintain focus on its operational and strategic priorities. We expect both costs and prices to begin to rise again. The economic environment should be positive overall, although uncertainties remain in some of our markets. In this context, we are targeting a further like-for-like increase in operating income in 2017.”