Air Products announced its fiscal 2016 first quarter results today, highlighting a net income of $387m, up 15% versus the year prior.

Air Products’ operating income was up 17% to $519m compared to the previous year, and record operating margin of 22% improved by 460 basis points. Adjusted EBITDA of $786m increased 9% over the prior year, and record EBITDA margin of 33.4% improved 520 basis points. The company assigns this profit improvement to a good cost performance and higher pricing.

But the financial first quarter, which ended on 31st December 2015, showed sales totalled $2.4bn – an 8% decrease from the previous year. The company attributes this to an “unfavourable currency” and a lower energy pass-through of 5% each more than the offset volume.

Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO of the Tier One company, commented on the quarter and said, “The Air Products teams around the world continue to execute our five-point plan and control what they can control, regardless of challenging economic conditions and currency headwinds. You can see their focus and commitment reflected in our very strong financial results.”

Breakdown by region

  • The Americas saw sales of $836m – a decrease of 17% compared to the previous year. Volumes decreased by 3% due a lower demand in Latin America and weaker North American steel and oilfield services markets. Operating income was flat to last year, and adjusted EBITDA of $335m increased by 1%, as higher pricing, restructuring benefits and lower maintenance costs were offset by headwinds from currency, lower energy pass-through and lower volumes.
  • In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, sales declined by 12% to $438m, primarily driven by 10% unfavourable currency. But operating income of $92m was up by 13% from the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA of $146m increased 2% versus the previous year. Air Products attributes this profit improvement to the benefits of restructuring actions, as well as higher pricing.
  • Asia sales of sales of $413m increased 4% versus the prior year, as volume growth of 11%, driven by both strong underlying business and new plants, was partially offset by 6% unfavourable currency. Operating income of $117m increased 29%, and operating margin of 28.2% improved 550 basis points. This profit improvement was due to higher volumes and strong cost performance.