Germany: Linde Operating Profit Up

Linde Operating Profit Up

The technology company Linde Group once again saw profitable growth in the 2011 financial year, achieving its best ever figures for Group sales and Group operating profit.

We have become even more efficient overall and were able to achieve the targets we had set in full,” said Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. “This is testament to our Group’s excellent position. Our gases and engineering business has a global presence across all industry sectors and is outstandingly well-placed in the growth markets.”

Linde is also confident about the future. “We are well-prepared for a challenging environment, and in the 2012 financial year we expect to continue to achieve growth in Group sales and an improvement in Group operating profit when compared with 2011,” commented CEO Reitzle. “We also confirm our medium-term targets. In the 2014 financial year, we will be aiming to generate Group operating profit of at least EUR 4 bn. In that same year, we want our core performance indicator, ROCE (return on capital employed), to be at least 14 percent.” The Group believes that global megatrends, energy and the environment, health and healthcare, and the emerging economies will provide good opportunities so that it will be able to continue to achieve sustainable, profitable growth. “We intend to seize those opportunities with both hands,” explained Reitzle.

In the 2011 financial year, Group sales rose 7.1 percent to EUR 13.787 bn (2010: EUR 12.868 bn). After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the increase was 7.6 percent. Linde has made good progress with the implementation of HPO (High Performance Organisation), its holistic concept designed to achieve sustainable process optimisation and productivity gains, and Group operating profit grew at a faster rate than sales, by 9.7 percent to EUR 3.210 bn (2010: EUR 2.925 bn). The Group operating margin in the 2011 financial year increased by 60 basis points to 23.3 percent (2010: 22.7 percent).

Linde was again able to achieve significant increases in other Group performance indicators. Earnings before taxes on income (EBT) rose 15.7 percent to EUR 1.619 bn (2010: EUR 1.399 bn). Earnings after tax of EUR 1.244 bn were 16.9 percent above the figure for 2010 of EUR 1.064 bn. The amount attributable to Linde AG shareholders was EUR 1.174 bn (2010: EUR 1.005 bn), giving earnings per share of EUR 6.88 (2010: EUR 5.94). On an adjusted basis, i.e. after adjusting for the effects of the purchase price allocation on the acquisition of BOC, earnings per share stood at EUR 7.71 (2010: EUR 6.89). ROCE (return on capital employed) rose to 13.0 percent (2010: 12.5 percent). At the same time, the Group succeeded in reducing its net financial debt by EUR 403 m to EUR 5.094 bn (2010: EUR 5.497 bn).

LNG World News Staff, March 12, 2012