Airgas, Inc., has publicised “record earnings” in the fiscal second quarter of 2012. Consequently the firm has raised its full-year guidance.

Airgas, Inc., has reported net earnings of $77.7m, or $1.01 per diluted share for its second quarter ended 30th September 2011. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) increased 24% on the prior year to $0.83.

Similarly, second quarter sales increased 12% to $1.19bn, total same-store sales grew 10% in the quarter. Acquisitions contributed 2% to overall sales growth.

Peter McCausland, Airgas CEO, commented on the results. He said, “We continue to see strength in the manufacturing-intensive regions of the US and in our petrochemical and energy customers. The relative out-performance in our hardgoods business on the strength of sales to large manufacturing customers and the mix shift within hardgoods to welding and automation equipment had a dilutive effect on our gross margin, but are generally indicative of sustained activity levels in the manufacturing economy.”

McCausland added, “While this is cause for optimism, given the global economic uncertainty that unfolded during the quarter, we are paying close attention to our business trends and have proven in the past that we can quickly adjust our cost structure if warranted.”

In light of these fiscal results, the company expects adjusted earnings per diluted share to increase 19% to 22% from $3.34 in fiscal 2011 to $3.97 to $4.07, which includes an anticipated $0.32 of SAP implementation costs and depreciation expense, compared to $0.14 in fiscal 2011.

McCausland added, $quot;Given our favourable business trends and sharp operating focus, our future prospects are very attractive.”