24 January 2013 13:45 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Airgas’ fiscal third-quarter net earnings rose by 14.3% year on year to $82.9m (€62.2m), as net sales rose by 4.7% to $1.21bn, despite continued economic uncertainty and moderation in business conditions, the US-based industrial gases firm said on Thursday.
“Moderating activity levels in our industrial customer base throughout the quarter were further exacerbated in late December by uncertainty around the fiscal cliff and by the timing of the holidays during the work week,” said Airgas executive chairman Peter McCausland.
During the three months ended 31 December Airgas acquired seven businesses, with combined annual revenues of $75m. Excluding acquisitions, Airgas’ Q3 organic sales growth was 4%.
The company’s third-quarter operating margin was 12.2%, up 80 percentage points from the same period a year ago.
Total costs and expenses were $1.06bn, compared with $1.02bn in the same period a year before.
Airgas remains “appropriately cautious” about near-term business conditions, but the company is optimistic about the long-term prospects for the US manufacturing and energy industries, as well as non-residential construction, McCausland said.
($1 = €0.75)
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