The new Messer Group GmbH announced their financial figures for their first year-end, May 7th 2004 to December 31st 2004.

May 7th 2004 represented the start of the 100% wholly owned company Messer Group GmbH by its original founders, the Messer Family. Three years earlier, the Messer family through its holding company Messer Industrie GmbH, started the restructuring and focusing on the re-launch of the new company. On the 6th May 2004, Messer Group in Germany, Great Britain and the USA were sold to Air Liquide and the holding company of the Messer family acquired the remaining shares held by their two-former co-partners, Allianz Capital Partners and the private equity funds managed by Goldman Sachs. In a similar fashion, on January 2005, the Messer family acquired the sister company Eutectic Castolin from The Carlyle Group.

Year-end results – May 7 – Dec. 31, 2004

Net sales for the period were €353 million with EBIT measured at €37 million or 10.6%. Operating profit was €54 million and net income was €17 million.

Sales by region are separated into four main regions. An estimated 52% of sales were attributed to Eastern Europe while the next major region is Western Europe, at roughly 38%. The two smaller regions are China, where sales were about 9% and 1% came from Peru.

Gases in cylinders including medical gases represented the biggest product group for sales with 45% of demand coming from this application. 32% of sales came form the Bulk, 17% from Pipeline and On-site, and 6% from Hardware and Other applications.

Outlook

The Messer Group Management Report states that it expects a similar outcome for 2005, \\$quot;It is likely that general business conditions will not change significantly in 2005. It is anticipated that 2005 will see a moderate expansion of total production in the industrialised countries, and that China will record a higher level of growth. If the prospects for earnings and the general monetary situation remain favourable, it can be assumed that Messer will take the opportunity to invest.\\$quot;