Yesterday, tier one industrial gas player, Air Liquide publicised its consolidated financial report for 2011. Highlights included sizeable sales in developing economies but slower growth in electronics and steel-making.
According to the report, 2011 consolidated revenues amounted to €14,457m, with Gas & Services exhibiting robust 7.5% increase on a comparable basis, alongside ‘strong growth’ in Large Industries. Described as ‘resilient’ by the French firm, Industrial Merchant activity withstood difficult environments while there was a noted ebb to electronics and steel-making during the fourth quarter.
The Group is confident in its medium-term development within the framework of the ALMA 2015 program.
Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO
Despite this, operating margin reached 16.7% and net profit climbed 9.4% to €1,535m. Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Air Liquide Group commented on the report: “In 2011, Air Liquide continued its growth and the implementation of its business model, notably in developing economies where sales have increased more than +20% over the previous year.
This momentum, together with our on-going efficiency programs on a global scale, helped to further improve operating results, demonstrating the Group’s ability to adapt to diverse environments and to generate growth while controlling expenses.
In 2011, investment decisions reached €2bn, over 60% of which in developing economies. In addition, the signature of new contracts and permanent innovation broaden our businesses and provide the Group with the capacity to strengthen its position in growth markets. Therefore the Group is confident in its medium-term development within the framework of the ALMA 2015 program.”
The CEO concluded, “In this context, and barring a major economic downturn, Air Liquide continues to aim for growth in net profit in 2012.”
At the next Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, the Board of Directors of Air Liquide will propose the payment of a dividend of €2,50 per share, up +6.4%. The ex date has been set for 11th May, and the payment date for 16th May 2012. Furthermore, the Board of Directors has decided to award one free share for 10 existing shares as of 31st May 2012, subject to the necessary approvals at the next Annual General Meeting.