Air Products has released its fiscal 2009 first quarter earnings.

The company has reported net income of $69 million or diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.32 for its fiscal quarter ended December 31st 2008.

This includes a $0.55 per share charge for the previously announced global cost reduction plan and a $0.10 per share loss from discontinued operations.

Excluding the impact of these terms, income was $206 million and diluted EPS was $0.97, down 21% and 18%, respectively, compared with the previous year.

First quarter revenues of $2,195 million declined 9% and operating income of $288 million was down 24% from the previous year on weaker volumes, primarily in the Electronics and Performance Materials and Merchant Gases segments, and unfavourable currency.

John McGlade, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer for Air Products said, “Over the quarter, we saw further deterioration in business conditions, resulting in one of the weakest economic environments we’ve ever seen.”

He added, “It was evident that the shocks to the global economy have shattered consumer confidence, which has significantly impacted customers’ operating rates across most of our end markets. In response, we continue to take aggressive actions to reduce our costs and drive to a lower cost structure.”