First quarter 2013, saw The Linde Group again achieve increases in group revenue and group operating profit, declaring the performance to be a ‘solid start to the new financial year’.
Group revenue rose by 10.3% to €3.985bn, compared with €3.614bn in the first three months of 2012.
After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the increase in revenue was 11.8%. Contributing to this positive trend was US homecare company Lincare, acquired by Linde in August 2012; revenue generated by Lincare in the reporting period was €397m.
Linde was also able to continue to reinforce its profitability at a high level and to increase group operating profit by 12.6% to €953m (2012: €846 m). As a result, the group operating margin rose to 23.9% (2012: 23.4%). Profit for the period rose in first quarter 2013 by 10.0% to €340m (2012: €309m).
The quarter saw the group’s Gases Division achieve 14.8% revenue growth in the three months to 31st March 2013 to €3.448bn, compared with revenue of €3.004bn in first quarter of 2012. When considering this substantial increase, it should be noted that the newly-acquired Lincare business should be taken into account.
“We have made a good solid start to the new financial year,” commented Professor Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle, CEO of Linde AG.
“Despite less than favourable conditions, especially in the mature markets, we have continued to achieve profitable growth. Our newly-acquired operations in the Healthcare product area made the most significant contribution here.”
“We expect to achieve further increases over the coming months and we confirm our outlook. We want to generate higher group revenue in 2013 than in 2012 and to achieve our target for group operating profit for the current year of €4bn”
Professor Dr. Wolfgang Reitzle
As far as the rest of the year is concerned, Reitzle said, “We expect to achieve further increases over the coming months and we confirm our outlook. We want to generate higher group revenue in 2013 than in 2012 and to achieve our target for group operating profit for the current year of €4bn.”
Linde believes that it remains on track to achieve its medium-term targets, still seeking to generate group operating profit of at least €5bn in the 2016 financial year. Return on capital employed (ROCE) of 14% is also believed to be targeted for the same year.
In a further development, Linde has decided to call and redeem the €400m Undated Subordinated Bond issued by Linde Finance B.V. in 2003 and guaranteed by Linde AG at its nominal amount. Call and Redemption of the bond shall be made in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Bond on 3rd July 2013.
“Our solid financial position and strong equity base allow us to redeem the subordinated bond on its first call date,” said Georg Denoke, member of the Executive Board and CFO of Linde AG.