HOMECARE for chronic respiratory patients is developing fast in Europe. Over a million patients now benefit from these medical services.

Thus Air Liquide strengthened its European homecare leadership, alongside the other medical fields (medical gases and hospital hygiene) where it already leads the market.

Commenting on this development, Jean-Marc de Royere, member of the Executive Committee of Air Liquide and CEO of the Group\\$quot;s Healthcare division said: \\$quot;These acquisitions in Germany reinforce the Group\\$quot;s Healthcare coverage in Europe. With nearly 5,000 professionals in Europe, we want to address some growing concerns of the general public. We also aim to export this European know-how to new geographies, particularly in Asia.\\$quot;

In 2005, Air Liquide\\$quot;s Healthcare activities generated sales of 1,395 million euros, up by 7.7%. The Group\\$quot;s Healthcare division provides homecare services, medical gases and hospital hygiene, as well as respiratory medical equipment (and hospital services (sterilization). With 6,000 employees around the world, it serves 5,000 institutions (hospitals and clinics) and 300,000 patients in the home. It operates in Europe, North America, Australia and several emerging countries.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD) and Sleep Apnea are being targeted particularly. Homecare complements hospital care, ensuring a better quality of life for patients and cost savings for the community.