Air Products has posted a double-digit sales rise in its fiscal second quarter 2017 financials, stating that it “continues to operate from a position of strength.”
Sales in the second quarter, which ended on 31st March 2017, climbed 11% to almost $2bn. Air Products attributed this to positive volumes in Asia, North America and Europe, whilst that company revealed that continued progress on the Jazan project was partially offset by lower liquefied natural gas (LNG) activity.
Reported net income from continuing operations reached $304m in the quarter, up 9% versus the prior year. On an adjusted basis, net income was up 5% totalling $314m.
Overall, Industrial Gas regions increased volumes by 2% with pricing remaining flat. The company also reported higher adjusted earnings per share (EPS) growth versus the prior year for the 12th consecutive quarter.
Broken down into geographical segments, the company posted growth in the US and Asia whilst it struggled in other equivocal global markets.
Sales of industrial gases in the US reached $890m with higher volumes, higher pricing and favourable currency each contributing 1% to this growth. Segment operating income of $225m remained flat, whilst adjusted EBITDA of $354m increased by 4%, as productivity actions were offset by higher maintenance costs supporting planned customer outages.
In Asia, the company’s sales grew by 7% compared to the prior year, with sales totalling $436m. Volume growth of 8% in the region was partially offset by unfavourable currency but higher volumes drove improvements in the segment’s operating income and adjusted EBITDA, reaching $112m and $174m, respectively.
However, sales in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region dropped 2% versus last year to $414m, as higher energy pass-through and volumes were more than offset by 6% unfavourable currency. Both operating income and adjusted EBITDA deflated by 4% and 6% to $87m and $136m, respectively.
Chairman, President and CEO Seifi Ghasemi labelled the “commitment and dedication” of the company’s staff in implementing its strategic Five-Point Plan as a key driver in these results.
Ghasemi also revealed that the Tier One corporation expects to deploy approximately $8bn into “strategic, high-return” opportunities in its core industrial gases business over the next three years.
But he was guarded about the company’s prospects going forward, stating, “We maintain our cautious outlook for economic activity around the world, since we have not seen any concrete evidence to allow us to make a different prediction. At the same time, we are driving productivity and cost actions in our business to deliver on our commitments.”