Airgas recently held its 2009 analyst meeting, highlighting organic and acquisition strategies to drive strong revenue growth over the next three to four years.

Other topics included operational and financial reviews, highlighting a path to expanded operating margins and returns during the same time frame.

$quot;Over the years, we have built an industry-leading distribution platform of products and services, including packaged and bulk gases, welding hardgoods, safety supplies, and supply chain management services,$quot; said Airgas Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Peter McCausland.

$quot;All these offerings are backed by technical support, training, and emergency response capabilities.$quot;

$quot;We can create tremendous value for our customers, and our organization is more customer-centric than ever before. The growth opportunities in front of us are outstanding.$quot;

Mike Molinini, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, discussed the company's means of accelerating sales growth to attain above-market results, including its recent strategy to further align sales and marketing resources with its key customer segments.

$quot;Our core business will provide a base for stable growth in the coming years,$quot; Molinini commented, $quot;but we expect to deliver beyond that with technology and innovation, our strategic products and strategic accounts strategies, an organization that is well-aligned with customer needs, and a customer service culture that is being elevated to new heights.$quot;

$quot;We are just beginning to unlock the full potential of our offering and there has never been a more exciting time at Airgas than today.$quot;

Bob McLaughlin, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, reviewed the company's resilient financial performance during the past year's severe economic contraction, and summarised the financial implications of its growth strategies.

He noted, $quot;While we are still in a very challenging economy, we expect to grow to more than $5.5 billion in revenues in the next three to four years, and attain operating margins of 13% to 14% with return on capital of 14.5% to 15.5%.$quot;

$quot;We will continue to build on our solid financial profile and remain focused on the key metrics that drive shareholder value.$quot;

Four other presenters at the meeting covered detailed topics including the company's significant opportunities in bulk and specialty gases, its innovative sales and marketing approach to customer segments, and its favourable acquisition strategies.