Airgas uses recession to strengthen operations.


The prevailing economic conditions have ‘put a damper’ on Airgas’ record year in terms of earnings and cash flow, but the company is using this time to strengthen its operations, so that it is well positioned for growth when the economy begins to recover.

Quarterly earnings declined 11% to $0.68 per diluted share, compared to $0.76 per diluted share in the previous year.

Fourth quarter sales were $1.0bn compared to $1.1bn in the previous year, a decline of 9%.

Total same-store sales declined 13% in the quarter, with hardgoods down 20% and gas and rent down 8%; acquisitions contributed 4% sales growth in the quarter.

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