Linde AG revealed today that its 2008 earnings and sales are expected to rise, as it confirmed its target of more than €3bn in operating profit by 2010 and anticipates a blossoming future ahead.

The Munich-based company indicated that the outlook was the result of the tighter integration of BOC Group PLC and as the company was able to reduce the amount of debt from the acquisition faster than it had anticipated.

Linde spent €12.4bn to acquire BOC in 2006 and Linde Chief Executive Wolfgang Reitzle said in a statement, “We have made better progress than expected. The new Linde Group is a fast-growing global company which is highly profitable and very robust.”

Linde noted that its net debt fell to €6.4bn by the end of 2007, a drop of 35% from a year ago when net debt totalled €9.9bn, and reiterated that its annual net profit more than quadrupled to €996m in 2007 from €219m in 2006.