Air Products has reported net income of $267m, or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.23, for its fiscal second quarter ended 31st March 2010, versus $252m for the fiscal Q1 2010.

The figure excludes an after-tax charge of $15 million, or $0.07 per share, for costs associated with the tender offer for the outstanding shares of Airgas, Inc.

Second quarter revenues of $2,249m increased 15% due to improved volumes in Tonnage Gases, Electronics and Performance Materials and favorable currency in addition to Energy and raw material cost pass-through. However, Merchant Gas sales experienced a more minimal increase of 6% on the previous year, while Equipment and Energy sales declined 7%.

Operating income of $364m rose 40% on the previous year due to higher volumes and lower costs. John McGlade, Chairman, President & CEO of Air Products, commented, ‘We are seeing improvement across our businesses. Our second quarter had strong underlying revenue growth, continued margin improvement and significant earnings growth.’

Looking ahead to the second half of the fiscal year, McGlade forecasts earnings growth in excess of 20% for 2010. He said, ‘The gradual economic recovery, combined with the leverage from our existing capacity, new project on-streams and improving productivity should position us well to meet our margin target of 17% in fiscal 2011.’

Air Products anticipates Q3 EPS from continuing operations to be between $1.25 and $1.29 per share and full-year EPS from continuing operations of $4.90 to $5.00 per share.