Air Products posts 18% rise in Q2 operating profit

23 April 2008 13:18  [Source: ICIS news]

MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Air Products posted an 18% year-on-year rise in second-quarter operating income due to higher volumes, superior pricing and currency impacts, the US-based firm said on Wednesday.

It recorded operating income of $365m for the quarter ended 31 March, the industrial gases and specialty chemicals producer said.

The firm's revenues were up 13% to $2.6bn on higher volumes in the tonnage gases and electronics and performance materials segments and higher pricing in merchant gases, while its net income increased 38% to $314m.

"We made good progress on a number of our fiscal 2008 targets, including improving our operating margin and increasing our quarterly dividend by 16%" Air Products chairman John McGlade said.

The firm's merchant gases division's operating income was up 18% to $167m on the back of improved pricing and favourable currency impact, while sales were up 15% to $902m, it said.

The company’s tonnage gases segment saw operating income increase 20% to $111m owing to volume growth from its plants in Asia and Europe, while sales rose 25% to $867m, it said.

Looking ahead, Air Products said it anticipated third-quarter earnings growth to range from 12% to 16% year on year.

"Despite slowing economic growth, we are positioned to continue double-digit earnings and sales growth while delivering on our commitment to improved margins and returns," McGlade said.

Meanwhile, Air Products operating income for the first six months of its current fiscal year was up 13.4% to $710.2m and sales increased 11.2% to $5.1bn.

By: Aaron Rodrigues
+65 6780 4359

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