The Executive Board of The Linde Group has presented financial statements for Linde AG and The Linde Group for the 2007 financial year and reported double-digit growth, recommending these figures to the Supervisory Board for approval.

Group sales increased by 13.9% to €12.306bn, while group operating profit rose to €2.424bn and represents both an increase of 18.1% and the continuation of previous healthy results.

Earnings before taxes (EBT) rose from €363m to €1.375 bn, with a number of non-recurring items following the acquisition of BOC taken into account in this area. On the one hand, EBT was positively affected by the book profit of €607m on the sale of parts of the business mainly due to antitrust requirements, while on the other hand it was reduced by the additional amortisation of €446m relating to the purchase price allocation. Earnings after taxes from continuing operations showed a corresponding increase from €219m to €996m.

These key figures for The Linde Group in the 2007 financial year, which have already been audited, demonstrate that in the first year following the acquisition of its British competitor BOC, Linde has substantially strengthened its operating business.

“The new group is solidly positioned and successful. In a short period of time, we have created an efficient global organisation and exceeded all expectations for the 2007 financial year,” said Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG.

To ensure the comparability of the group's business performance, the prior year figures for sales and operating profit have been adjusted to reflect the new group structure. The prior year figures therefore include the activities of BOC for the full twelve-month period, while excluding KION (the forklift division sold in 2006), the BOC Edwards components business and other companies and other assets sold in the course of the BOC transaction.

The Supervisory Board meeting to approve the financial statements will be held on 11th March 2008, while Linde will present detailed information about the 2007 financial year, the performance of the divisions and the short-term and medium-term prospects of the group at a press conference regarding the annual results, on 17th March 2008 in Munich.