16 February 2009 14:53 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Citigroup expects Air Liquide to sustain 10% in earnings growth over the next four years, it said on Monday, after the French industrial gases producer reported strong financial results for 2008.
Air Liquide posted an 8.6% increase in net profit for the full year to €1.22bn ($1.56bn), while sales were up 11% to €13.1bn.
Citigroup said it expected the company to maintain growth over the next four years, driven by the development of hydrogen markets, where legislation demands cleaner desulphurised fuel, and cyclical demand for its low capital-intensive services.
“Future sales growth is reasonably visible for the next three years, underpinned by installed capacity and environmental legislation that is already in place,” Citigroup said in a note to investors.
“The service businesses lack clear visibility…long term growth depends on continuing to win its share of future contracts,” it added.
Air Liquide reported earnings per share (EPS) of €4.7 in 2008, beating Citigroup’s forecast of €4.6.
The group’s shares surged following the results announcement and at 14.00 GMT were up over 5% on Friday’s close at €63.35.
($1 = €0.78)
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