Gas, engineering to ride cyclical downturn - Linde

17 March 2008 12:42  [Source: ICIS news]

Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle MUNICH, Germany (ICIS news)--German gas and engineering firm Linde confidently defended its business model at its annual results financial press conference on Monday.

The company earlier announced an 18% rise in operating profits to €2.4bn ($3.7bn) and a 14% rise in sales to €12.3bn in the 2007 financial year.

Rejecting any suggestions of selling the engineering division, Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle said that the concentration on both engineering and gas meant it was largely protected from the financial crises stemming from the US credit crunch.

“The US is an important market to us, but we have businesses in more than 100 countries and we supply gases to almost every kind of industry,” Reitzle said.

According to Reitzle, by focusing on local businesses across the world, Linde doesn’t suffer in a way export-oriented companies do.

“We are able to win enough contracts, even with the weak dollar,” he said.

Linde's gases division achieved a sales growth of 9.4%, jumping from a 2006 figure of €8.4bn to €9.2bn in 2007. Operating profit in the division rose 13.7% to €2.3bn from €2bn in 2006.

Reitzle said that the company would continue to be largely unaffected by cyclical difficulties.

“You are not going to see dramatic upturns or downturns in gases,” he said. “We’ve tried hard to leave behind cyclical problems.”

($1 = €0.64)

By: Paul Wheatley
44 20 8652 3214

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