The Board of Directors of SOL S.p.A. has approved its third quarter 2014 results, recording consolidated sales of €462.8m, up 4.6% compared with third quarter 2013.

In a climate of slight economic recovery during the first semester of 2014 in some European countries, SOL Group achieved this growth in sales volume largely due to its overseas sales growth of 7.9%.

There was also an improvement in its domestic Italian market, where growth was 1.5%, but the company noted that the economic climate in Italy had become stagnant in the last three months.

In terms of the two businesses of the group, the sales of the Technical Gases Division were relatively stable (-0.8%), notwithstanding the general fall-off in the industry, with a negative effect for some primary customers of the group – such as the Lucchini steel factory in Piombino. In contrast, the Homecare Division in which the group operates through its VIVISOL business marked a growth of 10.8%.

EBITDA and EBIT marked a good improvement, with a growth of 8.6% and 13.2% respectively, compared with the same period of 2013.

Marco Annoni, Vice-President of SOL S.p.A., once again alluded to SOL’s strength in a difficult market, commenting, “We consider positive the results achieved in the first nine months of 2014. The results confirm the capacity of SOL Group to act in a very difficult economic contest.”

Investments made in the first nine months equated to €69.1m. October saw SOL SpA acquire 100% of the share capital in Tyczka Kohlensäure GmbH & Co. KG, and 50% of the share capital in CT Biocarbonic GmbH. Both companies operate in the production and distribution of liquid carbon dioxide in Germany; through these acquisitions, the SOL Group is now one of the most important players in the liquid CO2 German market.

“In the year 2014,” concluded SOL S.p.A. Chairman Aldo Fumagalli Romario, “our target is to pursue the positive trend of growth of sales and to maintain the profitability of the group at a good level continuing the investment programme sustaining the development, the diversification and the innovation of the group in the future.”