Air Liquide revealed recently that its fourth quarter 2007 sales rose an underlying 10.4% thanks to strong hydrogen demand, large industry start-ups, continued growth in liquid volumes and the development of its healthcare business, as fourth quarter sales reached €3.231bn.

The French industrial gases group witnessed sales growth of 15.4% to reach the €3.231bn mark, up from €2.8bn the year before and said this equated to growth of around 10.4% after stripping out effects including exchange rate changes and acquisitions.

The group enjoyed 2007 sales of €11.801bn, up against €10.949bn in 2006 and above the €11.711bn consensus estimate that had been given by Thomson Financial. Air Liquide noted all business lines and geographies supported the faster growth in the final quarter, including gas and services in Asia and China, and the recently acquired Lurgi.