In the three months ending 31 March, the Linde Group has reported net income of EUR 2.894 bn; increasing 7.4 percent compared to the prior year. Group operating profit rose at a faster rate to sales, by 19.1 percent to EUR 641m.
Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG, commented, “It looks as if the worst is behind us. Towards the end of the first quarter in particular, we notice a marked revival in demand.”
He continued, “Given the current economic predictions. We expect a higher level of Group sales and Group earnings in the 2010 financial year than in 2009. Achieving a faster rate of growth in Group operating profit than in Group sales remains our goal. The measures we have taken to ensure sustainable improvements in productivity, which are having an increasing effect, will continue to contribute towards this goal.”
Earnings before taxes on income (EBT) grew to EUR 283m, 66.5 percent above the corresponding period in 2009. Earnings after tax in the first quarter increased by 66.4 percent to EUR 213m, while earnings attributable to Linde AG shareholders were EUR 198m.
This equated to a 72.1 percent increase in earnings per share of EUR 1.17. After incorporating the purchase price allocation in the course of the BOC acquisition this figure rose to EUR 1.41.
The development of several plants during 2010, an increasing demand for liquefied gases, a predicted surge in the cylinder gas business and further growth in Linde’s healthcare sector, are expected to benefit business performance.
The group expect an increase in sales and earnings in the Gases Division throughout the remainder of 2010. Linde also expect to exceed the record operating profit achieved which was set in 2008.