Linde Group have announced that annual profits have tripled after the German company bought U.K-based BOC Group Plc.

Including one-time items, net figures rose to €1.84bn ($2.42 billion) from €514m a year earlier, according to a statement from the Munich-based company released today. In further good news for the company revenue gained 31 percent to reach €12.4bn.

Linde took the top spot in the $53bn gas market from Air Liquide SA of France following its $15bn purchase of BOC in September. Like its Paris-based rival, Linde is benefiting from investment in the energy industry as well as expanding in higher margin medical products.

Speaking about the company's success Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Reitzle explained the company had met all of its targets. Furthermore, he believes that this years success was due to corporate multi-tasking saying, $quot;We were able to meet all of our business objectives and tackle the difficult challenges of Linde's extensive corporate restructuring at the same time.$quot;

Other factors inflating the figures include the company's sale in December of KION Group forklift unit to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. for $4m. Linde have also been divesting other assets to comply with demands from regulators, concerned that the BOC purchase threatens competition in some markets.

Linde's board plans to raise the dividend to €1.50 Detailed results will be released on March 12. Earnings per share excluding one-time items rose to €4.66 from €4.30.