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2022: Strong performance and acceleration of investment decisions to prepare the future

Paris, France,
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Commenting on 2022 sales, François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer of the Air Liquide Group, stated:

“In 2022, the Group delivered a strong performance despite a complex and changing geopolitical, economic and sanitary context. The quality of these published results illustrates the proven resilience of the Group’s business model, characterized by a very broad diversity of geographies and markets, as well as the remarkable mobilization and responsiveness of our teams to adapt to this volatile environment.

For the Group, 2022 was also marked by the launch of ADVANCE, its strategic plan for 2025, which closely combines financial and extra-financial performance. This is already reflected in an acceleration of our investment momentum, which will feed our future growth, particularly in low-carbon hydrogen and the transition to a low-carbon society. On the extra-financial level, the Group’s CO2[1] emissions remained stable for the second consecutive year. This supports our objective of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Air Liquide has delivered another year of profitable growth: Sales reached 29.9 billion euros, up +7% on a comparable basis, the operating margin increased by +70 basis points excluding the energy impact, and recurring net profit[2] rose +17% at constant exchange rates. At 10.3%, recurring ROCE[3] is higher than 10%, one year ahead of the target communicated as part of ADVANCE.

All activities are growing significantly: the Gas & Services business, which represents 95% of the Group’s revenue, is up +6.1%, on a comparable basis, the Engineering & Construction business by +20.6% and Global Markets & Technologies by +25.8%. Within Gas & Services, all our geographies posted growth, in particular the Americas and Asia Pacific. By business line, the increase in sales was notably driven by Industrial Merchant and Electronics.

The Group further improved its operating margin by +70 basis points excluding the energy impact. It generated significant efficiencies amounting to 378 million euros and continued its dynamic management of its business portfolio. In a context of a sharp and lasting rise in energy prices, it demonstrated the strength of its business model, in which Large Industries contracts are indexed to energy prices, and where its ability to create value allows it to adjust prices for its Industrial Merchant customers.

The investment decisions reached a record level of nearly 4 billion euros. 12-month investment opportunities remain plentiful and total 3.3 billion euros, out of which more than 40% are linked to the energy transition.

Cash flow on sales excluding the energy impact improved by +110 basis points, allowing the Group to finance its investments and pay a dividend, while at the same time reducing its debt. Reflecting our confidence in the future, and following the allocation in 2022 of one free share for every 10 held, the dividend that will be submitted to the shareholders’ vote in May amounts to 2.95 euros per share, i.e. an increase of +12.2%.

In 2023, Air Liquide will continue to roll out its ADVANCE strategic plan. The year is expected to be marked by the signing of several major projects in the field of decarbonization and energy transition in Europe and by an acceleration of these opportunities in the United States. Air Liquide is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver recurring net profit growth, at constant exchange rates.[4]

2022 Highlights


  • Establishment of a new governance at Air Liquide. On June 1, François Jackow became the Group’s Chief Executive Ocer, while Benoît Potier remains Chairman of the Board of Directors. François Jackow was also appointed Board Director of Air Liquide by the Group’s shareholders during the General Meeting on May 4.

  • Launch of ADVANCE, the new Air Liquide strategic plan for 2025, which places sustainable development at the heart of the Group’s strategy and combines nancial and extra-nancial performance.

  • Credit rating upgrade by Moody’s for the Air Liquide Group, from “A3” to “A2” for its long-term rating and from “P2” to “P1” for its short-term rating. The outlook associated with the ratings is stable.

  • Successful launch of a long-term bond issue for a total of 600 million euros to finance the Group’s long-term growth.

  • Russia divestment project: signing of a letter of intent with the local management team to transfer Russian operations to them in the form of an MBO (Management Buy Out) as part of an orderly, viable and responsible transfer of operations. The execution of this project remains subject to Russian regulatory approvals. The Group’s businesses in Russia are no longer consolidated since September 1, 2022.

Sustainable Development:

  • First validation in the industrial gases industry by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) of Air Liquide’s target to reduce scopes 1 & 2 CO2 emissions by 2035 as qualified and aligned with climate science.

  • Attribution of “A-” rating by the CDP for climate change and water management.

  • Inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Europe Index, an index established by S&P Global that assesses the progress of companies in terms of sustainable development.

Decarbonizing the industry:

  • Selection for a financial support by the European Innovation Fund of the Air Liquide and EQIOM project aimed at transforming the EQIOM plant near Dunkirk, France, into one of the first carbon-neutral cement plants in Europe.

  • Memorandum of Understanding with Lhoist to decarbonize their lime production unit located in Réty, in the Hauts-de-France region, using Air Liquide’s proprietary CryocapTM CO2 capture technology. This project was selected for financial support as part of the European Innovation Fund.

  • Selection to be granted financial support by the European Innovation Fund of the Kairos@C project, developed by Air Liquide and BASF, with the objective of developing the world’s largest cross-border carbon capture and storage (CCS) value chain project around the port of Antwerp.

  • Financial support from the European Commission for the Antwerp@C CO2 Export Hub backed by Air Liquide, Fluxys Belgium and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to create a CO2 transport and export infrastructure at the Antwerp port platform.

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed with Eni to decarbonize hard-to-abate industries in the Mediterranean Basin.

  • Agreement signed with Sogestran to develop shipping solutions for carbon management, as part of carbon capture and storage projects.

  • Signature with Sasol of two long-term renewable Power Purchase Agreements with Enel Green Power for a total capacity of 220 MW to supply the Secunda site in South Africa.

  • Signature of a long-term renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Vattenfall in the Netherlands for offshore wind capacity of around 115 MW, currently under construction.

  • Signature of a 10-year agreement with Shell Energy Europe Limited (SEEL) for the purchase of renewable energy to power industrial and medical gas production operations in the north-east of Italy.

  • Launch by Air Liquide of its biomethane business in China. In the United States, construction of Air Liquide’s largest biomethane production plant in the world.

Low-carbon hydrogen:

  • Support of the French government to the Air Liquide Normand’Hy project to produce renewable hydrogen on a large scale. This project will have an initial capacity of 200 MW and will contribute to the creation of a French and European low-carbon hydrogen industry, as well as to the decarbonization of the Normandy industrial basin.

  • Creation of a joint venture with Siemens Energy dedicated to the series production of industrial scale renewable hydrogen electrolyzers in Europe. One of this joint venture’s first projects will be the Air Liquide Normand’Hy electrolyzer project.

  • Dutch government support for two Air Liquide renewable hydrogen projects, named ELYgator and CurtHyl. Each with a capacity of 200 MW, these electrolyzer projects will contribute to the decarbonization of industry in the Netherlands and neighboring countries.

  • Start-up in the State of Nevada, of the largest hydrogen liquefier in the world, in particular to supply the mobility market on the West Coast of the United States.

  • Decision by Air Liquide and TotalEnergies to create a joint venture to develop a network of hydrogen charging stations for trucks on major European highways (France, Benelux, Germany).

  • Memorandum of Understanding with CaetanoBus and Toyota Motor Europe to propose integrated solutions for hydrogen mobility (development of infrastructure and fleets of light and heavy-duty vehicles).

  • Memorandum of Understanding signed with Airbus, Incheon Airport and Korean Air to study the use of hydrogen at Incheon International Airport.

  • Plan with Groupe ADP to create the first engineering joint venture to accompany airports in their projects to integrate hydrogen in their infrastructure.

  • Investment of 200 million euros by SCIPIG, an Air Liquide subsidiary, in the construction of two hydrogen production units with CO2 capture and recycling in Shanghai Chemical Industry Park.

Electronics & Industry:

  • Under long-term contracts, investment of around 500 million euros in the construction of three new ultra-high purity industrial gas production units for two of the world’s largest semiconductor manufacturers in Taiwan.

  • As part of long-term contracts with two world leaders in semiconductors in Japan, Air Liquide launched a staggered investment of more than 300 million euros in four state-of-the-art production units.

  • Signature of long-term agreements to supply a semiconductor manufacturing site in Arizona, United States. As part of this agreement, Air Liquide will invest nearly 60 million US dollars to build and operate onsite plants and systems.

  • Long-term contract with EZZ Steel in Egypt, under which Air Liquide Egypt will invest approximately 80 million US dollars in an Air Separation Unit (ASU).

  • Signing of a record number of 52 new long-term contracts for on-site gas production in Industrial Merchant.

  • Increased presence in India with an investment of around 40 million euros in a new ASU dedicated to Industrial Merchant activities, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, northern India.


  • Development of the home healthcare offering with the acquisition of the diabetes division of Ethitech in South Africa by VitalAire, home healthcare subsidiary of Air Liquide.


Financial performance

Group revenue for 2022 totaled 29,934 million euros, a strong comparable growth of +7.0% over 2021. The Group’s revenue as published posted a signicant increase of +28.3% in 2022, with a record high energy impact of +15.3% as well as a favorable currency impact of +5.8%, while the signicant scope impact was limited (+0.2%).

This performance was delivered in a challenging context of exceptionally high energy prices, strong ination, strain on supply chains and the conflict in Ukraine. The Group beneted from a solid business model and diversity of business reach in terms of geographies, businesses, end-markets and customers which ensured a resilient performance and allowed the Group to take advantage of all growth opportunities. The ADVANCE strategic plan reinforces these attributes which position the Group in growth markets of the future (in particular the energy transition, Semiconductors and Healthcare).

Gas & Services revenue in 2022 totaled 28,573 million euros, a strong comparable increase of +6.1%. The growth stood at +28.3% as published: the energy impact (+16.1%) reached a record level over the year, with a peak in the 3rd quarter, the currency impact (+5.8%) also made a positive contribution, while the significant scope effect (+0.3%) remained limited. The latter corresponds to the additional contribution in 2022 of the 16 Sasol units acquired in June 2021, less the effect of the deconsolidation of the activities in Russia from September 1, 2022.

  • Gas & Services revenue in the Americas totaled 10,680 million euros in 2022, up sharply by +10.2% on a comparable basis. The Large Industries business (+3.7%) benefited from the start-up of several production units and solid demand. In the Industrial Merchant business, sales increased by +13.5%, supported by the strong increase in prices. Despite a high basis of comparison due to the covid-19 pandemic in 2021, Healthcare revenue was up +3.9% thanks to the development of the proximity care business in the United States and the Home Healthcare business in Latin America. Finally, Electronics posted sales up +5.8% over the year, driven by strong growth in Carrier Gases and Specialty Materials.

  • Revenue in Europe was up +2.0% on a comparable basis in 2022 and totaled 11,390 million euros. Sales evolution was contrasted depending on business lines. In a context of very high energy prices, Large Industries sales were down by -16.6% over the year, strongly impacted by volumes down -8% and a combined effect[5] in the 3rd quarter. The Industrial Merchant business line saw an exceptionally high level of sales growth of +24.1%, benefitting from a record price effect of +23.6%. Healthcare revenue posted an increase of +4.4%, supported by the dynamism of Home Healthcare and despite a high basis of comparison due to the covid-19 pandemic in 2021.

  • Revenue for the Asia-Pacific region in 2022 rose sharply by +7.0% on a comparable basis, to total 5,608 million euros. It beneted from particularly dynamic growth in the Electronics business (+17.8%). Sales in Large Industries were stable (+0.3%), with the covid-19 pandemic disrupting business growth in China, while sales in the rest of Asia remained low throughout the year. In Industrial Merchant, sales benefited from a sharp rise in prices and increased by +4.2%.

  • Revenue for 2022 in the Middle East and Africa was up +0.8% to 895 million euros. Volumes in Large Industries increased sharply in South Africa with the integration of the 16 Sasol Air Separation Units, whose acquisition was nalized at the end of the 1st half of 2021; thus sales of 126 million euros over the year were accounted for in the signicant scope impact and hence excluded from comparable growth. In Industrial Merchant, sales were down over the year, with the +6.4% increase in prices not fully offsetting the divestiture of small businesses in the Middle East.

The two growth drivers for 2022 were the Industrial Merchant business, with sales up +14.2%, supported by a record price effect of +14.7% and resilient volumes, and the Electronics business, with revenue up +16.4%. Despite a high basis of comparison in 2021 related to covid-19, sales in Healthcare increased by +3.6%, supported by the strong development of Home Healthcare, particularly in Europe, and proximity care in the United States. Sales in Large Industries were down -6.6%, marked by mixed activity depending on the geography: in Europe, the decline in volumes was part of a context of an exceptionally strong increase in energy prices, while sales increased in America and remained stable in Asia.

Consolidated revenue from Engineering & Construction totaled 474 million euros in 2022, up strongly by +20.6%. Order intake for Group projects and third-party customers exceeded 1 billion euros for the second consecutive year.

Global Markets & Technologies revenue for 2022 reached 887 million euros, representing a very high growth of +25.8% compared to 2021. Biogas maintained strong momentum and sales of Turbo-Brayton LNG reliquefaction units contributed to the growth. Order intake for Group projects and third-party customers totaled 875 million euros, representing a dynamic increase of +25% compared to 2021.

Efficiencies[6] amounted to 378 million euros over the year. They represent a saving of 2.2% of the cost base. In a context of high ination unfavorable to procurement eciencies, the priority for the teams is to limit cost increases and transfer them to sales prices.

The Group's operating income recurring (OIR) reached 4,862 million euros. It was up sharply by +16.9% as published and +10.5% on a comparable basis, which is significantly higher than comparable sales growth of +7.0%. The operating margin (OIR to revenue ratio) stood at 16.2% as published, representing a -160 basis point decline compared with 2021, due to the sharp increase in energy costs which are contractually passed through to Large Industries customers. This therefore has a mechanical dilutive impact on the published margin. Excluding the energy impact, the operating margin improved very significantly by +70 basis points. This performance integrates the dilutive impact of strong ination on costs other than energy costs, in Industrial Merchant in particular, and which is transferred to sales prices. This +70 basis point improvement therefore particularly reected the Group’s ability to rapidly transfer to sales prices the exceptionally strong and brutal increase in energy costs and ination in general.

Net profit (Group share) stood at 2,759 million euros in 2022, showing strong growth of +7.3% as published and an increase of +1.0% excluding the currency impact. The recurring net income[7] (Group share) stood at 3,162 million euros, up sharply by +22.9%, and +17.3% excluding the currency impact, compared to 2021 recurring net income (Group share). Recurring net income (Group share) thus exceeded 3 billion euros for the first time.

Net earnings per share, at 5.28 euros, were up +7.0%[8] compared with 2021, in line with the increase in net profit (Group share).

Cash flows from operating activities before changes in working capital amounted to 6,255 million euros, a marked increase of +18.2% and of +12.0% excluding the currency impact. The cash flow over sales ratio reached a high level of 20.9%, a significant improvement of +110 basis points compared with 2021, excluding the energy impact.

Net debt at December 31, 2022, amounted to 10,261 million euros, a decrease of 187 million euros compared with December 31, 2021. The increase in the Group’s cash ows from operating activities before changes in working capital makes it possible to reduce net debt after the payment of more than 3.2 billion euros in investments and nearly 1.5 billion euros in dividends.

In 2022, industrial and financial investment decisions reached a record level of nearly 4.0 billion euros. The 12-month portfolio of investment opportunities remained high at 3.3 billion euros at the end of 2022 and the projects related to energy transition represented more than 40% of the investment opportunities. The portfolio of opportunities beyond 12 months also includes the first significant projects related to the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States, particularly along the Gulf Coast.

The additional contribution to sales of unit start-ups and ramp-ups totaled 421 million euros in 2022, including a 128 million euro contribution by the Sasol units in South Africa, with 126 million euros being accounted for in the signicant scope.

The return on capital employed after tax (ROCE) was 9.1% in 2022. The recurring ROCE[9] stood at 10.3%, a significant improvement compared to 9.3% in 2021 and reached the ADVANCE strategic plan's ROCE target (of over 10%) one year early.

At the Annual General Meeting on May 3, 2023, the payment of a dividend of 2.95 euros per share will be proposed to shareholders for the fiscal year 2022. Following the free share attribution of 1 for 10 in June 2022, the proposed dividend shows a strong growth of +12.2% compared with the previous year. The ex-dividend date is scheduled for May 15, 2023 and the payment is scheduled for May 17, 2023.

Extra-financial performance

The ADVANCE strategic plan combines financial and extra-financial performance. The Group's scopes 1 and 2 CO2 emissions totaled 39 million metric tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 2022. Thus, CO2 emissions[10] remained stable for the 2nd consecutive year, in line with the objective of reaching an inflection point in 2025 before initiating a downward trend towards carbon neutrality in 2050. The Group's commitment to sustainable development goes beyond climate objectives: thus in 2022, the number of lost-time accidents among Air Liquide employees decreased by -11%, 42% of the Group's 67,100 employees (+8 pts) benefitted from a common basis of care coverage and 1.8 million people have access to medical oxygen in low- and moderate-income countries thanks to the Access Oxygen program.

Air Liquide’s Board of Directors, which met on February 15, 2023, approved the audited financial statements for the 2022 fiscal year. The Statutory Auditors are in the process of issuing a report with an unqualified opinion.


On the recommendation of the Appointments and Governance Committee, the Board of Directors also approved the draft resolutions which will be submitted to the General Meeting of May 3, 2023 in order to appoint for a period of four years as Directors:

  • Ms Catherine Guillouard, former Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of RATP (until September 2022) and previously Chief Financial Officer of Rexel, Eutelsat and Air France. She will bring to the Board her extensive financial skills as well as her experience as an executive in a major public transport group, where she led the transformation and decarbonization plan.

  • Ms Christina Law, a Chinese national (Hong Kong) and based in Singapore. She will bring to the Board her in-depth knowledge of Asian markets, and her managerial experience in large international groups specializing in the fields of healthcare and treatment.

  • Mr Alexis Perakis-Valat, President of the Consumer Products Division of the L'Oréal group, the group’s main division. He will bring to the Board his knowledge of consumer product markets and his managerial experience within a leading international group, where he has been one of the driving forces behind major transformations carried out in recent years.

  • Mr Michael H. Thaman, an American national. He has extensive knowledge of North American industrial markets as well as a strong international profile. He will bring nearly 30 years of experience, including 13 years as Chief Executive Officer and then Executive Chairman, at Owens Corning, a world leader in construction materials and one of the highest-rated American groups on environmental and societal criteria, and his experience as a Director in other major global listed US groups, particularly in the field of renewable energies.

The Board stated that it considered Ms Catherine Guillouard, Ms Christina Law as well as Mr Alexis Perakis-Valat and Mr Michael H. Thaman to be independent.

In addition, the Board of Directors took note of the resignation, with effect on January 3, 2023, of Ms Anette Bronder, due to her decision to take an executive position with an audit firm, which is incompatible with the maintenance of her office as a Director of L'Air Liquide S.A. On the recommendation of the Appointments and Governance Committee, the Board of February 15, 2023, decided to co-opt for the remaining term of office of Ms Anette Bronder, i.e. until the close of the 2024 General Meeting, Ms Monica de Virgiliis as a Director of the Company. Of dual Italian and French nationality and former Director of Strategy at the CEA in Paris after a career of more than 15 years in the field of electronics (at ST Microelectronics and Infineon), she will bring to the Board strong experience in the field of technology and energy. Very committed to energy transition, she is the founder and President of Chapter Zero France, a non-profit association aiming to raise awareness of climate issues to Directors. The ratification of such cooptation will be submitted to the General Meeting of May 3, 2023. The Board stated that it considered Ms Monica de Virgiliis to be independent.

Concerning Ms Siân Herbert Jones, whose term of office as Director will expire at the close of the General Meeting of May 2023, the Board took note of her wish not to seek renewal of her office. The Board warmly thanked her for her contribution, during her 12 years in office, to the work of the Board of Directors and for her very active involvement in the Audit and Accounts Committee, of which she was a member since 2013 and chaired since May 2015.

Concerning Ms Geneviève Berger whose term of office as Director will expire at the close of the General Meeting of May 2023, also indicated that she does not wish to seek renewal of her office as Director. The Board took due note and warmly thanked her for her contribution to the work of the Board of Directors since 2015, as well as her participation in the Environment and Society Committee, of which she was a member since its creation in 2017.

At the end of the General Meeting to be held on May 3, 2023, the Board of Directors would therefore comprise 14 members: 12 members appointed by the General Meeting, most of whom are independent (i.e. 83% independent Directors), including 5 women (i.e. 42%), 5 foreign nationals and 2 Directors representing the employees.

Finally, the Board of Directors will submit to the vote of the General Meeting the elements of remuneration of Mr Benoît Potier, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (from January 1 to May 31, 2022), Mr François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer (from June 1 to December 31, 2022), Mr Benoît Potier, Chairman of the Board of Directors (from June 1 to December 31, 2022), together with the information relating to the remuneration of all the corporate officers for 2022. The General Meeting will also be invited to decide upon the remuneration policy for the corporate officers which will apply to Mr. François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer, to Mr Benoît Potier, Chairman of the Board of Directors and to the Directors.


  1. ^ In metric tonnes of scopes 1 and 2 CO2-equivalent, “market based”, restated to take into account over a full year from 2020 and each subsequent year, the emissions of the assets which correspond to changes in scope (upwards and downwards) and which have a significant impact on CO2 emissions. 
  2. ^ Excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.
  3. ^ Recurring ROCE based on Recurring Net Profit.
  4. ^ Operating margin excluding energy passthrough impact. Recurring net profit excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.
  5. ^ Indeed, for Large Industries, the method values the energy impact of the year on the basis of the volumes of the preceding year times the difference of energy prices. Consequently, the rise in energy prices being exceptionally strong and volumes down, the energy impact is amplified, as well as a negative combined effect, which reduced comparable sales of Large Industries.
  6. ^ See definition in the appendices.
  7. ^ See definition and reconciliation in the appendices
  8. ^ Net earnings per share for 2021, restated to take into account the impact of the free share attribution on June 8, 2022, amounted to 4.94 euros.
  9. ^ See definition and reconciliation in the appendices.
  10. ^ In metric tonnes of scopes 1 and 2 CO2-equivalent, “market based”, restated to take into account over a full year from 2020 and each subsequent year, the emissions of the assets which correspond to changes in scope (upwards and downwards) and which have a significant impact on CO2 emissions.