US Praxair Q1 net income falls 6.7% to $391m, sales rise 2%

24 April 2013 12:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Praxair’s first-quarter 2013 net income fell 6.7% to $391m (€301m), from $419m reported in the same quarter of last year, despite a rise in sales, the US-headquartered industrial gases company said on Wednesday.

This result includes the impact of a $23m pre-tax charge related to currency devaluation in Venezuela. Excluding this charge, adjusted net income was $414m.

Sales in the first quarter were $2.89bn, an increase of 2% compared with the same period of 2012. Praxair said excluding foreign currency, cost pass-through and fewer working days, on a comparable basis, sales grew 4% year on year.

Sales growth was driven by Asia and South America, while growth moderated in North America and weakened further in Europe, the company added.

Praxair’s reported operating profit in the first quarter was $600m, down from $627m in the same period of 2012. Adjusted operating profit was $623m, 1% below the prior-year quarter.

Chairman and CEO Steve Angel said: “During the first quarter, Praxair saw varied growth rates across our geographic segments. Our Asia business grew sales at double-digit rates in China and Korea, due primarily to project start-ups.

“Sales in Brazil improved in March driven by manufacturing and construction. North American sales reflect solid underlying fundamentals with some deceleration of the growth rate,” he added.

Angel said Praxair, for the balance of the year, expects base volumes to grow modestly given uncertainty in the macroeconomic environment.

“Additionally, we will be starting up several large hydrogen projects as well as a number of air separation plants that will contribute to earnings growth,” he added.

For the full year of 2013, Praxair expects sales in the area of $12bn, adjusted diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $5.90-6.05, and full-year capital expenditures in the range of $1.8-2.0bn.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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