BOC Limited, a Linde AG company, struggled in its fiscal 2016 financials, posting a loss in turnover due to uncertainties in the UK’s economic environment and the abrupt end of a major gas supply contract.
Overall, revenues fell by 7.2% to £737.6m ($953m) compared to £794.8m ($1bn) the year prior, hurt by the closure of its Shahaviria Steel Industries (SSI) onsite plant towards the end of 2015.
EBITDA decreased to £219.6m ($284m) in 2016 compared with £222.7m ($288m) in 2015, and operating profit as a percentage of sales also fell marginally, dropping to 17.9% from 18.1% the year prior.
Its onsite business showed the biggest decline, falling from £208m ($269m) in 2015 to £154m ($199m) in 2016, which gasworld understands to be down chiefly to the termination of its industrial gas supply deal with SSI Steel UK in late 2015.
Revenues also fell for BOC’s merchant and packaged gases, dropping from £478m ($618m) to £472m ($610m).
Its healthcare division was the only area to mark an increase, posting a marginal rise of 2.8% to reach £108.3m ($140m).
And with domestic demand falling for the UK-based business from £797m ($1bn) worth of revenues to £724m ($934m), BOC noticed increased activity across the rest of Europe, Africa and Asia Pacific last year.
However, the company did state that it saw more buoyant customer markets generally in the automotive, food and hospitality sectors.
BOC stated that the commercial and economic environment remained challenging during the year due to uncertainties surrounding the UK’s imminent exit from the EU, whilst its financials were also stifled by passing energy rebates onto its customers.
To adapt and grow going forward, BOC has re-organised its business and reduced its cost base during the year whilst focusing on key strategic investments.
A statement reinforced, “Whilst continuing to meet shorter term targets the company is implementing a number of programmes that will provide firm foundations for future longer term growth.”