Having previously declared strong sales performances for the fourth quarter of 2007, Air Liquide has revealed its overall results for the year and reflects on both another year of progress and a healthy acceleration in revenue growth.

Consolidated 2007 revenue rose by 7.8% to reach €11.801m, while growth was particularly strong in the fourth quarter of 2007 and concludes a year of progressively accelerating growth in which net profit for the group is reported to have increased by 12.1% to reach €1.123m.

Such a performance is attributed as a result of strong demand for hydrogen, new start-ups in large industries in the second half of the year, record sales in electronics, continued growth in liquid volumes for industrial customers, and sustained development in the healthcare sector.

In 2007, the group met all of its operating and financial objectives, with the recurring operating margin for Gas and Services increasing significantly to 18.1%, cash flow increasing by 8.7% and total capital expenditure doubling compared to 2006 to €2.7bn.

This is expected to support the company’s growth over the coming years and Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Air Liquide group, stated, “Air Liquide achieved an excellent set of results in 2007. This is another year of progress, clearly illustrating the group’s ability to combine accelerated growth and strong financial performance.”

“This progress is based on strong geographic presence, particularly in emerging economies, the consolidation of our positions in growth markets such as hydrogen and homecare, and the strengthening of our technology portfolio in the energy and environmental markets which require large volumes of oxygen,” he added.

Following the results and another strong year to have passed for the company, the mood is bullish and the objectives are clear for the immediate future. Potier continued, “Our ambition is to be recognized as the industry leader. The ALMA program which has just been launched, will allow us to accelerate growth and further improve our competitive position in the years to come. We enter the year with most of our markets well oriented, which gives us confidence in Air Liquide’s ability, at constant exchange rates, to achieve double-digit growth in net profit in 2008.”