• 07-MAR-2013

  • SOURCE: The Linde Group

Linde Achieves Double-Digit Growth and Sets New Medium-Term Targets

The technology company The Linde Group continued to give a robust performance in the 2012 financial year, again achieving significant increases in Group revenue and Group operating profit. 'We have been able to hold our own, although the climate has worsened in the course of the year,' said Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG. 'This shows that our business model, which is geared towards sustainability, is working. The stability of the Group has been further strengthened by our acquisition of Lincare.'

Against this background, it is with real confidence that Linde looks to the future. 'Even though conditions are unlikely to improve, we are sticking to our targets,' commented Reitzle. 'In the 2013 financial year, we want once again to generate higher Group revenue than in the previous year and to achieve Group operating profit of at least EUR 4 bn.' The Group has also set itself new medium-term targets. 'We are seeking to generate Group operating profit of at least EUR 5 bn in the 2016 financial year. In that same year, return on capital employed (ROCE) should reach around 14 percent.'

Linde continues to see good opportunities for growth especially in global megatrends, energy and the environment, healthcare, and in the emerging economies. 'We are determined to seize these opportunities as they arise and to work consistently to enhance the performance of our Group,' explained Reitzle. Linde will continue to implement HPO, its holistic concept designed to achieve sustainable efficiency gains, and it plans to reduce total gross costs by a further EUR 750 m to EUR 900 m in the years 2013 to 2016.

In the 2012 financial year, Group revenue grew by 10.8 percent to EUR 15.280 bn (2011: EUR 13.787 bn). After adjusting for exchange rate effects, the increase was 6.4 percent. The newly-acquired Lincare business contributed EUR 630 m to Group revenue. Linde achieved an increase in Group operating profit (EBITDA) of 10.0 percent to EUR 3.530 bn (2011: EUR 3.210 bn). The Group operating margin in the 2012 financial year was 23.1 percent, almost as high as the level achieved in 2011 of 23.3 percent.