Increases in material, energy and labour costs have led to Airgas Inc. announcing revised pricing actions for bulk and packaged gases, effective from 1st December or as contracts permit.

As well as raising rental rates for cylinders, bulk tanks and other delivery and service charges up to 15%, a number of other products will be affected by the newly announced pricing structure, Prices will increase, on average, at between 20-30% for helium, 10-15% for argon, and 8-10% for all other bulk atmospheric gases and packaged, industrial, specialty and medical gases.

The company has seen higher prices for cylinders, bulk tanks, gas handling plants and equipment due to rising metal prices and it is factors such as these which have been instrumental in this latest cost revision. Higher raw material, energy and labour costs, as well as operating costs at Airgas plants and distribution facilities have also contributed.

Peter McCausland, Airgas chairman and CEO, commented, “We face these rising costs, even while demand continues to be strong across our customer base. Airgas associates are working hard every day to meet our customers needs. We will continue to invest in our infrastructure so we can meet the demands of our customers, improve operating efficiencies, and fulfil the safety and security requirements of our industry.”

Meanwhile, Airgas has also announced that the board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.09 per share, payable 31st December 2007, to shareholders of record as of 14th December 2007.