• 06-MAY-2013

  • SOURCE: The Linde Group

January to March 2013: Linde Makes a Solid Start to the New Financial Year

In the first quarter of 2013, the technology company The Linde Group again achieved increases in Group revenue and Group operating profit. 'We have made a good solid start to the new financial year,' commented Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG, on the interim report. 'Despite less than favourable conditions especially in the mature markets, we have continued to achieve profitable growth. Our newly-acquired operations in the Healthcare product area made the most significant contribution here.'

As far as the rest of the year is concerned, Reitzle said, 'We expect to achieve further increases over the coming months and we confirm our outlook. We want to generate higher Group revenue in 2013 than in 2012 and to achieve our target for Group operating profit for the current year of EUR 4 bn.' Linde also believes that it remains on track to achieve its medium-term targets. The Group is still seeking to generate Group operating profit of at least EUR 5 bn in the 2016 financial year. Return on capital employed (ROCE) should be around 14 percent in the same year.

In the first quarter of 2013, Group revenue rose by 10.3 percent to EUR 3.985 bn, compared with EUR 3.614 bn in the first three months of 2012. After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the increase in revenue was 11.8 percent. Contributing to this positive trend was US homecare company Lincare, acquired by Linde in August 2012. Revenue generated by Lincare in the reporting period was EUR 397 m.

Linde was able to continue to reinforce its profitability at a high level and to increase Group operating profit by 12.6 percent to EUR 953 m (2012: EUR 846 m). As a result, the Group operating margin rose to 23.9 percent (2012: 23.4 percent).