Air Products and Chemicals Inc. say Q1 2007 has brought higher earnings, citing strong sales growth in merchant gases and tonnage gases as the key growth driver.

Net income rose to $227.6m, or $1.02 a share, in the second quarter ended on March 31 from $204m, or 89 cents a share, a year earlier.
Sales also rose by around 11 percent to $2.47bn from $2.23bn.

In a statement chief executive John Jones said, $quot;We expect a strong finish to fiscal 2007, driven by continued volume growth in manufacturing and energy markets,$quot;

The company expects third-quarter earnings of $1.03 to $1.07 a share. Wall Street has forecast $1.03.