A euphoric day for The Linde Group is unfolding, as the company once again saw profitable growth in the 2011 financial year – achieving its best ever figures for group sales and operating profit.

The 2011 financial year saw group sales rise 7.1% to €13.787bn, compared to 2010 sales of €12.868bn. After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the increase was 7.6%.

“We have become even more efficient overall and were able to achieve the targets we had set in full,” said Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG.

“This is testament to our group’s excellent position. Our gases and engineering business has a global presence across all industry sectors and is outstandingly well-placed in the growth markets.”

“We also confirm our medium-term targets. In the 2014 financial year, we will be aiming to generate group operating profit of at least €4bn”

Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG

Linde is also confident about the future. “We are well-prepared for a challenging environment, and in the 2012 financial year we expect to continue to achieve growth in group sales and an improvement in group operating profit when compared with 2011,” commented Reitzle.

“We also confirm our medium-term targets. In the 2014 financial year, we will be aiming to generate group operating profit of at least €4bn. In that same year, we want our core performance indicator, ROCE (return on capital employed), to be at least 14%.”

The group believes that global megatrends, energy and the environment, health and healthcare, and the emerging economies will provide good opportunities so that it will be able to continue to achieve sustainable, profitable growth.

“We intend to seize those opportunities with both hands,” explained Reitzle.

Significant increases

In the 2011 financial year, group sales rose 7.1% to €13.787bn (2010: €12.868bn). Linde has made good progress with the implementation of HPO (High Performance Organisation), its holistic concept designed to achieve sustainable process optimisation and productivity gains.

Group operating profit also grew at a faster rate than sales, by 9.7% to €3.210bn (2010: €2.925bn).

Linde was again able to achieve ‘significant increases’ in other group performance indicators:

  • Earnings before taxes on income (EBT) rose 15.7% to €1.619bn (2010: €1.399bn)
  • Earnings after tax of €1.244bn were 16.9% above the figure for 2010 of €1.064bn
  • On an adjusted basis, (after adjusting for the effects of the purchase price allocation on the acquisition of BOC) earnings per share stood at €7.71 (2010: €6.89)
  • ROCE (return on capital employed) rose to 13.0% (2010: 12.5%)

The group also succeeded in reducing its net financial debt by €403m to €5.094bn, from a 2010 level of €5.497bn.

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