19 March 2010 16:45 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany-based industrial gases and chemicals engineering major Linde remains profitable despite the economic downturn, credit ratings agency Moody’s said on Friday, adding it may upgrade Linde’s ratings.
“Despite the headwind of the global economic downturn reducing revenues by some 11%, Linde could actually improve profitability margins,” Moody’s analyst Oliver Giani said in commenting on Linde’s 2009 results.
At the same time, Linde had increased cash flow to support a €119m ($163m) net debt reduction, Giani said.
Moody’s has placed Linde’s ratings on review for a possible upgrade, a move that was also supported by a positive outlook for the highly concentrated industrial gases sector in general, it said.
Linde said this week it expected to post higher sales and operating profit in 2010, with its gases division likely posting record earnings.
In the 2009 crisis year, Linde recorded an operating profit of €2.39bn on sales of €11.2bn.
While both operating profit and sales were down from 2008 – falling 6.7% and 11.5%, respectively - operating margin rose to 21.3%, from 20.2% in 2008.
($1 = €0.73)For more on Linde visit ICIS company intelligence
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