Industrial gas giant Air Liquide has unveiled its NEOS 2016-2020 Programme, in which the corporation reveals it has “confidence” in its future growth outlook, with responsibility and performance at the heart of its four-year plan.

The Tier One corporation identified the energy and environment transition, changes in healthcare and digitisation as the three major trends for sources of growth throughout the organisation in the coming years.

It revealed that it is aiming for a growth of between 6-8% in annual revenue from now to 2020. This will boil down to generating recurrent efficiency gains of more than €300m ($333.8m) on average per year, in addition to synergies related to Airgas for a total amount above $300m.

US boost

The company’s $13.4bn takeover of Airgas boosted Air Liquide’s sales of Gas & Services in the US by 30%. The deal, officially confirmed in May, comfortably created the biggest industrial gas group in the world, as well as establishing Air Liquide as the largest player in the North American market.

Thus, the group has strengthened its global leadership by rebalancing its European and US positions. As a result, it appears as if this new strategy is targeted towards taking the sting out of the flat growth in the European market.

Air Liquide also announced that it is targeting a return on capital employed (ROCE) in excess of 10% after five to six years, under the NEOS initiative.

Regarding responsibility, Air Liquide stated it will reinforce its actions towards improving air quality for better environment and health by conversing with its stakeholders to contribute to more sustainable methods.

Air Liquide's Benoit Potier

Source: Air Liquide

Air Liquide’s Benoit Potier

Benoît Potier (left), Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, stressed, “The group has acquired a new dimension following the acquisition of Airgas and thus enters a new phase of its development. Our strategy for profitable growth over the long-term is that of a customer-centric transformation.”

“It will be based on operational excellence and the quality of our investments, on open innovation and the network organisation already implemented by the group worldwide. Our ambition is to lead our industry, deliver long-term performance and contribute to sustainability.”

“With strong fundamentals and a disciplined model of development and management, the group is well position to perform in various economic environments and leverage the underlying trends, i.e. the energy and environment transition, changes in the world of healthcare and digitalisation.”

Executive leadership teams from its headquarters in Paris, along with hubs in Houston, Frankfurt, Shanghai and Dubai will work together to roll out Air Liquide’s four-year NEOS scheme.