Linde posts 32% increase in Q3 net profit

03 November 2008 14:12  [Source: ICIS news]

Reitzle says Linde is on trackLONDON (ICIS news)--Linde posted a 32% increase in third-quarter net income to €177m ($226m), up from $134m in the year-earlier period, the German industrial gases company said on Monday.


Turnover advanced 2% to €3.14bn, with higher sales in the gases division offsetting a lower result in the engineering segment.


Linde said it had launched a new cost-cutting programme to help meet its 2010 operating profits target and expected the measures to reduce gross costs by €650m-800m over the next four years.


"To meet our medium-term targets despite the expected economic downturn, we have already launched a new programme for sustainable process optimisation and productivity improvement,” said Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle.


“The economic crisis has not yet had an impact on us... we are still on track,” he added, saying the company was targetting annual operating profits of at least €3bn by 2010.


The gases division increased third quarter-operating profit 7% to €625m from €582m driven by growth in all regions, although a more moderate increase was seen in Europe.


Worldwide gases sales increased 6.5% to €2.45bn from €2.3bn. 


Linde maintained its medium-term target for gases, expecting it to grow twice as fast as global GDP.


The engineering division reported third quarter operating profits of €57m, down from €62m in the year-earlier period.


Third-quarter engineering group sales were marginally down to €652m from €701m. 


In its outlook, Linde said it expected average sales increases in engineering over the coming years of 8-10% and an order intake of about €3bn in 2008.


At 13.50 GMT, Linde shares traded at €66.28 on Germany's XETRA exchange, a gain of 1.80% from the previous close.


($1 = €0.78)


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By: Mark Watts
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