Praxair has reported its Q3 net income and diluted earnings per share of $419m and $1.45 respectively. These results include transaction and other costs of $14m after-tax primarily related to the proposed merger with Linde AG.

Praxair’s sales in Q3 were $2,922m, 8% above the prior-year quarter. In Q4 sales grew by 6%, driven by higher volumes across all geographic segments including new project start-ups, growth in all end-markets, and price attainment.

The company’s operating profit in Q3 was $626m, 26% above the prior-year quarter. Adjusted operating profit was $642m, 8% above prior-year quarter. Reported operating profit as a percentage of sales was 21.4% and adjusted operating profit as a percentage of sales was 22.0%. EBITDA margin was 32.0% and adjusted EBITDA margin was 32.6%.

The Tier One player generated strong Q3 cash flow from operations of $794m, 27% of sales. After capital expenditures of $320m, free cash flow was $474m, up 15% over the prior-year quarter. The company paid $225m in dividends and net debt decreased by $202m.

Reflecting on the financial results and business outlook, Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said, “Praxair employees delivered another strong quarter with operating profit growing 8% and record free cash flow of $0.5bn.”

“The third quarter extended prior trends with growing demand in North America, Europe and Asia, but continued weakness in South America. Furthermore, our backlog grew to $1.5bn with the addition of four new long-term on-site supply agreements in the US and Asia. Most of this backlog supports the significant energy and petrochemical expansions in the US Gulf Coast although we continue to see more opportunities in Asia, especially in the electronics end-market. We remain confident in our ability to win additional projects as these markets continue to develop.”

“Additionally, during the third quarter, Praxair shareholders approved our business combination with Linde AG with 99% of votes cast in favour of the merger. Currently, the business combination remains subject to the satisfaction of all other transaction closing conditions, including successfully completing Linde plc’s exchange offer for Linde AG shares, and the receipt of all regulatory approvals.”

Results by region

In North America, Q3 sales were $1,518m, 4% above the prior-year quarter. Growth was driven mainly by stronger volumes to the electronics, aerospace, metals and food & beverage end-markets and higher price. Operating profit was $386m, 6% above the prior-year quarter.

In Europe, Q3 sales were $407M, 11% above the prior-year quarter. Sales grew 5% from the prior-year due to higher volumes, primarily led by the metals, food & beverage and manufacturing end-markets and higher price. Operating profit was $78m, 8% above the prior-year quarter.

In South America, Q3 sales were $389m, 3% above the prior-year quarter. Sales increased 2% versus the prior-year driven by higher volumes to chemicals and metals end-markets and project start-ups. Operating profit was $63m.

Sales in Asia were $451m in the quarter, up 15% from the prior-year driven by higher volumes in China, Korea and India, project start-ups and 2% price attainment, driven mostly by China. Operating profit was $88m, 29% above the prior-year quarter.

Praxair Surface Technologies had third-quarter sales of $157m, up 4% excluding positive currency impact. Sales growth was driven primarily by aerospace coatings. Operating profit was $27m.