Gases Division: Growth improves in the second quarter
During the reporting period, Linde continued to achieve growth in revenue in the Gases Division. Whereas revenue growth in the first quarter of 2015 was just
1.0 percent on a comparable basis (after adjusting for exchange rate effects and changes in the price of natural gas), Linde was able to achieve revenue growth of 1.9 percent in the first half of 2015. One of the reasons for this increase was the contribution to revenue of EUR 36 m made by an LPG business in Australia acquired by Linde in February 2015. On the basis of reported figures, revenue in the first half of 2015 rose by 10.7 percent to EUR 7.554 bn (2014: EUR 6.825 bn). Revenue was adversely affected not only by the relatively weak macro-economic environment, but also by current low energy costs and the expiry of on-site contracts. Operating profit rose by 12.2 percent to EUR 2.091 bn
(2014: EUR 1.863 bn). The operating margin in the first six months of 2015 rose to
27.7 percent (2014: 27.3 percent).
In the Americas segment, Linde was able to achieve a significant increase in revenue in the first half of 2015 of 21.8 percent to EUR 2.552 bn
(2014: EUR 2.095 bn). On a comparable basis, revenue rose by 7.0 percent.
When compared with the prior-year period, operating profit increased by 28.1 percent to EUR 638 m (2014: EUR 498 m). The operating margin rose to 25.0 percent (2014: 23.8 percent).
In the Asia/Pacific segment, Linde generated revenue in the six months to
30 June 2015 of EUR 2.086 bn. This was 14.9 percent more than the figure for the first half of 2014 of EUR 1.816 bn. On a comparable basis, revenue rose by
1.4 percent. This growth was mainly underpinned by the acquisition of an LPG business in Australia. Operating profit rose by 13.0 percent to EUR 538 m
(2014: EUR 476 m), giving an operating margin of 25.8 percent
(2014: 26.2 percent). Macroeconomic trends in China remain solid, but the situation in Australia has continued to deteriorate.
In the EMEA segment (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Linde generated revenue of EUR 3.005 bn in the first six months of 2015, which was slightly higher than the figure achieved in the first half of 2014 of EUR 2.978 bn. On a comparable basis, revenue fell by 1.5 percent. The expiry of a hydrogen supply contract in Italy had a substantial adverse impact on revenue. At the end of 2014, the plant was transferred to the customer and since that date the plant has ceased to make a contribution to revenue. Operating profit was EUR 915 m, which was 2.9 percent higher than the figure for the first half of 2014 of EUR 889 m. The operating margin increased to 30.4 percent (2014: 29.9 percent).
Forecast: Linde has revised up its revenue forecast in the Gases Division from between EUR 14.9 bn and EUR 15.4 bn to between EUR 15.1 bn and EUR 15.5 bn mainly as a result of current trends in exchange rates. Linde is now seeking to achieve operating profit in the Gases Division of between EUR 4.1 bn and
EUR 4.3 bn, compared with its previous forecast for operating profit of between
EUR 4.05 bn and EUR 4.25 bn. In each case, achievement of the targets is dependent on ongoing trends in industrial production and on exchange rates.