US Airgas Q3 net earnings fall 25% on lower sales

28 January 2010 22:40  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US industrial gasses producer Airgas reported on Thursday fiscal third-quarter net earnings of $46.9m (€33.3m), down 25% from $62.9m reported for the same time last year - as lower sales more than offset lower costs.

Third-quarter sales were $942.1m, down from $1.08bn for the same time last year, Airgas said. In particular, plant turnarounds and contractor maintenance slowed, hurting sales in the company's rental-welder business.

In addition, the previous year was particularly strong for Airgas, making a year-over-year comparison appear more unfavourable, said chief executive Peter McCausland.

Total costs and expenses for the third quarter were $842.1m, down from $948.2m for the same time last year, Airgas said.

For the fourth quarter, Airgas expects a modest improvement in its core packaged-gas business.

However, the improvement will be partially offset by seasonal declines in its segment for all other operations. In addition, the company's  rental-welding business will continue to operate under pressure.

($1 = €0.71)

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By: Al Greenwood
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