US Airgas fiscal Q2 net earnings rises 17%, sales up 4% to $1.28bn

23 October 2013 13:42  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Airgas’ fiscal 2014 second-quarter net earnings rose 17% year on year to $95m (€69m) as sales rose 4% to $1.28bn, the US industrial gases firm said on Wednesday.

Airgas said that the increase in earnings and sales was achieved amid sluggish business conditions and continued economic uncertainty. The quarter benefited from new business software and from one additional selling day, compared with the prior-year period.

Organic sales for the three months ended 30 September were up 2% from the same period last year.

Airgas said that customer activity levels softened during the back half of September, which is normally a time when activity picks up meaningfully.

Second-quarter operating income rose to $169m, from $145m in the prior-year period, for an operating margin of 13.2%.

Airgas CEO Michael Molinini said it was difficult to estimate the impact of the recent federal government shutdown in the US, “but it can only have had a negative impact on business confidence and spending, particularly for our smaller customers.”

“Although we are frustrated by the current economic environment and near-term uncertainty, we will continue to focus on the growth drivers that we can control and are ready to capitalize when sustained growth in the industrial economy resumes," Molinini added.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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