Air Products has reported encouraging fiscal results for Q1 of 2011. McGlade, company Chairman, President and CEO described it as, 'a very good start'.

The results for the first quarter, ended 31st December 2010, represent an overall increase on the same period in 2009. Net income reached $296m, while diluted earnings per share (EPS) increased 16% to $1.35.

First quarter revenues increased 10% on 2009, driven by higher sales across all segments, reaching $2.392m. Air Products also attributes the rise to volume growth across Electronics and Performance Materials, Tonnage Gases and Merchant Gases segments. Meanwhile, sales rose 2% sequentially and operating income increased by 17% to $404m.

John McGlade, Chairman, President and CEO for the firm, stated, “We’re off to a very good start for our new fiscal year. In the quarter, we produced double-digit volume growth and improved margins in returns. The Air Products team continues to deliver on its commitments.”

Segment Performance
Merchant Gases
Thanks to a peak in sales and volumes within Asia, Air Products witnessed a 6% increase in sales of merchant gases, reaching $988m. Likewise, operating income rose by 6% to $201m, while sales rose 4% driven by favourable currency.

Tonnage Gases Largely due to improved volumes from loading plants and new plant on-streams, tonnage gases sales increased 10% to $766m. Operating income also rose 15% when compared with the prior year, while sequentially, sales rose by 2%.

Equipment and Energy Slightly less dynamic than other segments, equipment and energy sales rose by 3% to $112m. However, Air Products was keen to highlight a ‘significantly increased’ operating income of $20m, thanks to higher LNG activity.

Looking Ahead
McGlade offered his thoughts to the future, he said, “Building on our solid performance and a gradually recovering global economy, we are focused on winning customer orders, bringing new plants on-stream and delivering productivity. We are well on our way to achieving double digit earnings growth, improved return on capital and 17% operating margins in 2011.”

Air Products shareholders are expected to gather at the Annual Meeting later this month. The AMS will meet on Thursday 27th January. An audio webcast of the event can be accessed via the company’s website.