The Executive board of Linde AG completed their annual financial statements for the company and the group on February 28. The supervisory board are expected to give its approval on March 14.

Key figure on the fiscal 2004 performance have been released:
· Sales were up 4.8% to €9,421 billion (2003: €8,992 billion).
· Linde’s operating profit (EBITA) also grew by 14.9% to €785 million (2003: €683 million).
· Earnings before income taxes (EBT) climbed from €287 million to €518 million
· Net income totalled €274 million compared to €108 million in 2003.
· Earnings per share rose accordingly to €2.30 from €0.91 in 2003.

The performance of the individual divisions were as follows:
· Linde Gas – EBITA grew to €640 million from €598 million in 2003
· Linde Engineering – EBITA rose to €69 million from €46 million
· Materials Handling Division – EBITA increased to €191 million.

On the basis of the positive results, the Executive Board at Linde AG have submitted a proposal to the Supervisory Board, that dividends be increased from €1.13 per share to €1.22 per share.

Detailed information on the fiscal year 2004, and on the individual divisions of the group will be released at a press conference on March 22.