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H1 2023: Solid performance and sustained investment momentum paving the way for the future

Paris, France,
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Commenting on the results in the first half of 2023, François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer of the Air Liquide Group, stated:

“In a complex and changing macroeconomic and geopolitical environment, Air Liquide delivered, in the first half of the year, a very solid performance characterized by sales growth on a comparable basis and a new increase in its operating margin excluding the energy impact. This performance highlights the resilience and quality of our business model and is in line with the trajectory of our ADVANCE strategic plan.

Revenue reached 13.98 billion euros, an increase of +4.9% on a comparable basis in the first semester. On an as published basis, the year-over-year comparison was -1.6%, due to the drop in energy prices - whose variations are passed on to Large Industries customers - as well as negative currency impacts. The Gas & Services activity, which represented 96% of the Group’s revenue, was up +5.3% on a comparable basis. Within this activity, all regions saw growth, in particular the Americas and Europe, driven notably by Industrial Merchant and Healthcare.

In line with its ADVANCE strategic plan, Air Liquide continued the steady improvement of its operational performance. The Group generated significant efficiencies of 206 million euros, up +24% despite an inflationary context unfavorable to savings on purchases, and continued the dynamic management of its business portfolio. Its ability to create value allowed it to adjust its prices in Industrial Merchant while preserving sales volumes. As a result, the operating margin increased further, by +80 basis points excluding the energy impact.

Net profit (Group share) amounted to 1.72 billion euros, up +32% as published. Recurring net profit[1] increased by +11.3% excluding currency impacts. Cash flow[2] grew by +13% excluding currency impacts. The balance sheet is strong with a net debt to equity ratio of 39.2%[3]. Recurring ROCE[4], which amounted to 10.2% at end-June, remains above 10%, in line with ADVANCE’s objectives.

In terms of outlook, the Group's investment momentum remained strong, reflecting our commitment to climate and paving the way for future growth. The project backlog, at 3.5 billion euros, remained high. Investment decisions reached 1.8 billion euros this semester. With more than 40% of projects linked to the energy transition, 12-month investment opportunities are numerous and total 3.4 billion euros.

In 2023, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver recurring net profit growth, at constant exchange rates[5].”




  • Air Liquide, Hydrogen Supporter in Hydrogen of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 to contribute to reducing the event’s carbon emissions. The Group will supply hydrogen from renewable sources to power some of the vehicles in the official Paris 2024 fleet and will contribute to the acceleration of the development of long-lasting infrastructures for hydrogen mobility (taxi fleets, refueling stations).
  • Evolutions within Air Liquide’s Executive Committee from September 1, 2023.
  • Early bond redemption, for a total of 382 million US dollars, at the end of a Tender Offering process for two series of US dollar bonds maturing in 2026 for the first and 2046 for the second.
  • Scope Ratings, Europe's leading credit rating agency, awarded an “A” issuer rating to Air Liquide, as well as an “A” rating for its senior unsecured debt and an “S-1” short-term rating for all debt instruments issued by Air Liquide S.A. and Air Liquide Finance. The outlook associated with the issuer rating is positive.

Asset portfolio management

  • Divestiture of Air Liquide’s 19% stake in Hydrogenics Corporation to Cummins, which owns the remaining 81% of the company. Hydrogenics will remain one of Air Liquide’s suppliers for electrolyzer projects.
  • Entry into exclusive negotiations with Safran Aerosystems, for the sale by Air Liquide of its aeronautical oxygen and nitrogen technology businesses, excluding marine-related cryogenic activities.
  • Realization of the Trinidad and Tobago business divestiture to Massy Gas Products Holding Ltd.


  • Announcement in July 2023 of a project to transform the Home Healthcare activity in France to align it with the needs and expectations of patients and healthcare professionals and adapt its business model to meet the challenges of the country's healthcare system.


  • Investment of close to 200 million US dollars in two advanced material production centers in Taiwan and South Korea.

Sustainable development

  • Signature by Air Liquide of its first renewable electricity Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in China, giving access to a capacity of 200 MW. This will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 120,000 metric tonnes, which is comparable to the emissions related to the electricity consumption of more than 300,000 Chinese households.
  • Announcement of the signature by Air Liquide and Sasol of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) to secure a capacity of 480 MW of renewable power to supply Sasol’s Secunda site, in South Africa, where Air Liquide operates the biggest oxygen production site in the world. These agreements will contribute significantly to the decarbonization of the site, and in particular to the targeted reduction by 30% to 40% of the CO2 emissions associated with oxygen production by 2031.
  • Annual publication of the Air Liquide Sustainability Report, highlighting progress in this area as well as additional objectives, in particular for scope 3 and biodiversity.
  • 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.


  • Creation with Groupe ADP of "Hydrogen Airport", the first engineering and consulting joint venture specialized in accompanying airports in their projects to integrate hydrogen in their infrastructure.
  • Inauguration of the first high-pressure station for long-distance trucks in Europe, in Fos-Sur-Mer in the South-East of France, as part of the HyAmmed project. On this occasion, Iveco Group presented a prototype of a fuel cell truck.
  • Decision with TotalEnergies to create a 50/50 joint venture to develop a network of more than 100 hydrogen refueling stations for trucks on major European highways. This initiative will help to develop the use of hydrogen in goods transportation.
  • Selection of Air Liquide’s autothermal reforming (ATR) technology for a demonstration project, owned and operated by INPEX CORPORATION, for the large-scale production of hydrogen and low-carbon ammonia, a rst in Japan.
  • Development with KBR of a low-carbon ammonia and hydrogen production solutions offering based on Air Liquide’s Autothermal Reforming (ATR) technology. In addition, a project for an innovative industrial-scale ammonia cracking pilot plant in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. When transformed into ammonia, hydrogen can be more easily transported over long distances.

Decarbonizing industry

  • Investment of around 60 million euros to modernize two Air Separation Units (ASU) operated by Air Liquide in the Tianjin industrial area, China, as part of the renewal of a long-term contract with YLC, a subsidiary of the Bohua group. The electrification of these two ASUs will prevent the emission of 370,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year, which is comparable to the emissions related to the electricity consumption of more than one million Chinese households.
  • Decarbonization and reduction of energy consumption: as part of a long-term contract, implementation of an innovative solution to support the conversion of the Verallia plant in Pescia, Italy, from traditional combustion to optimized oxycombustion on the occasion of the construction of a new glass furnace on the site.
  • Signature with Holcim of a memorandum of understanding concerning a decarbonization project for the new Holcim cement plant under development in Belgium. Using Air Liquide's innovative and proprietary CryocapTM technology, this project would enable Holcim to reduce this cement plant's CO2 emissions by 1.1 million metric tonnes per year.



Group revenue totaled 13,980 million euros in the 1st half of 2023, up +4.9% on a comparable basis. Group revenue as published in the 1st half-year was down -1.6%, impacted by unfavorable energy (-4.7%) and currency (-2.1%) impacts, with the significant scope impact being slightly positive at +0.3%.

Gas & Services revenue amounted to 13,405 million euros during the 1st half, a comparable increase of +5.3%. Published sales in the 1st half of 2023 were down slightly by -1.4%, impacted by negative energy and currency impacts of -4.9% and -2.1% respectively, the significant scope impact being limited (+0.3%).

  • Gas & Services revenue in the Americas reached 5,159 million euros in the 1st half of 2023, representing a comparable increase of +6.7%. Sales in the Industrial Merchant business were up sharply, by +10.0%, driven by a high price effect (+7.5%). Customer shutdowns penalized Large Industries sales (-3.9%) while volumes remained solid overall in the US Gulf Coast. In Healthcare, price increases in Proximity Care in the United States and the dynamism of Home Healthcare in Canada and South America were the main contributors to the very strong increase in sales (+13.5%). Lastly, after very solid growth in 2022, revenue from the Electronics business was down by -5.8% in the 1st half due to the sharp decline in sales of materials in the 2nd quarter, in a context of slowdown in demand from memory manufacturers.
  • Revenue in Europe was up +4.8% on a comparable basis during the 1st half of 2023 and reached 4,975 million euros. In Industrial Merchant, the very strong increase in sales of +18.1% beneted from a price effect that remained very high at +19.0%. Healthcare sales were up +5.8%, driven notably by the strong development of diabetes treatment in Home Healthcare and higher medical gas prices in response to inflation. Large Industries revenue was down -3.6% in the 1st half-year, however this was a significant improvement compared to the 2nd half of 2022 heavily impacted by the sharp increase in energy prices.
  • Sales in Asia Pacic were up +3.8% on a comparable basis in the 1st half of 2023 and amounted to 2,763 million euros. Large Industries revenue, down -5.9%, was impacted in particular by weak demand and customer shutdowns. In Industrial Merchant, the sharp increase in sales of +12.1% was supported by a price effect of +9.2% and a strong increase in volumes in China in the 2nd quarter. In the Electronics business (+7.3%), after double-digit sales growth in the 1st quarter, revenue growth was more moderate in the 2nd quarter (+4.3%).
  • Revenue in the Middle East & Africa region increased by +5.8% on a comparable basis to 508 million euros in the 1st half of 2023. The sales growth in air gases in South Africa and Egypt explained the solid performance of Large Industries. In Industrial Merchant, a high price effect (+8.7%) and the increase in volumes made it possible to fully absorb the impact of the divestiture of businesses in the Middle East and achieve solid sales growth.

Industrial Merchant revenue continued to grow strongly (+12.1%), driven by a high price effect of +10.7% and growing volumes. Large Industries revenue, down -3.6% in a context of weak demand, saw a significant improvement compared to a 2nd half of 2022 which was heavily impacted by the sharp increase in energy prices, in Europe in particular. Electronics sales were up +6.3% in the half-year: following double-digit growth in the 1st quarter, revenue growth was more moderate in the 2nd quarter due to a very high basis of comparison in 2022 and lower demand from memory manufacturers. Lastly, the strong growth in sales in Healthcare (+8.2%) was supported by the increase in the prices of medical gases in an inflationary context and the dynamism of Home Healthcare.

Consolidated revenue from Engineering & Construction totaled 180 million euros in the 1st half of 2023, down -17.3% compared to the high sales to third-party customers in the 1st half of 2022. Consolidated revenue does not reflect the volume of activity carried out with internal projects in Large Industries or Electronics. Order intake amounted to 530 million euros, a slight increase compared to the 1st half of 2022.

Sales in the Global Markets & Technologies business increased by +3.9% on a comparable basis and amounted to 395 million euros in the 1st half-year. Organic growth reached +17%, excluding several divestitures. Order intake for Group projects and third-party customers reached 496 million euros.

The Group's operating income recurring (OIR) reached 2,481 million euros in the 1st half of 2023. It was up by +8.5% and +13.0% on a comparable basis, which is significantly higher than the comparable growth in sales of +4.9%.

The operating margin (OIR to revenue) stood at 17.7%, a strong improvement of +80 basis points excluding the energy impact.

Efficiencies[6] contributed to this improvement in margin. They amounted to 206 million euros, up sharply by +23.6% compared to the 1st half of 2022 and in line with the annual target of more than 400 million euros.

Net profit (Group share) amounted to 1,722 million euros in the 1st half of 2023, with an increase as published of +31.9% and +39.5% excluding the currency impact. Excluding the proceeds from the sale of the stake in Hydrogenics, the impairment of an intangible asset and of assets held for sale, net profit recurring (Group share)[7] amounted to 1,627 million euros. This was up by +4.9% and +11.3% excluding currency, compared to net profit recurring (Group share) in the 1st half of 2022, a significant increase over comparable sales growth of +4.9%. Net earnings per share rose by +32.0% compared with the 1st half of 2022, in line with the increase in net profit (Group share). These stood at 3.30 euros per share compared with 2.50 euros per share in the 1st half of 2022.

Cash ows from operating activities before changes in working capital amounted to 3,211 million euros during the 1st half of 2023, representing a sharp increase of +10.4% and +13.2% excluding the currency impact.

Net debt at June 30, 2023 reached 10,550 million euros, a sharp decrease compared with 12,010 million euros at June 30, 2022 and an increase of 289 million euros compared with December 31, 2022, following the payment of more than 1.6 billion euros in dividends in May.

The return on capital employed after tax (ROCE) was 10.0% for the 1st half of 2023. At 10.2%, recurring ROCE[8] remained above the target of 10.0% in the Advance strategic plan, and was up sharply by +50 basis points compared to the 1st half of 2022.

In order to accelerate the decarbonization of its production units, Air Liquide announced in the 1st half of 2023 the signing of long-term renewable energy supply contracts (PPAs) for more than 1,000 GWh per year. This will equate to a reduction of its annual CO2 emissions by approximately -970,000 tonnes.

In the 1st half of 2023, industrial and financial investment decisions amounted to 1,798 million euros. They were stable compared to the very high level of the 1st half of 2022.

At 3.5 billion euros, the investment backlog remained at a very high level for three quarters and posted a strong increase compared to the 3.0 billion euros in the 1st half of 2022.

The additional contribution to sales of unit start-ups and ramp-ups totaled 139 million euros over the 1st half of 2023. Over full-year 2023, it is expected to be at the low end of the range of 300 to 330 million euros previously communicated.

At 3.4 billion euros, the 12-month portfolio of investment opportunities remained very high at the end of June 2023. This reflects the dynamism of project developments, particularly in the energy transition, representing more than 40% of the portfolio, as well as in the Electronics business.

The Air Liquide Board of Directors met on July 26, 2023. During this meeting, the Board reviewed the consolidated financial statements ending June 30, 2023. Limited review procedures were completed with respect to the consolidated interim financial statements, and an unqualified review report is in the process of being issued by the statutory auditors.




  1. ^ Net profit recurring excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring

  2. ^ Cash Flow from operations before changes in working capital

  3. ^ Adjusted for dividend seasonality. 

  4. ^ Recurring ROCE based on Recurring Net Profit.

  5. ^ Operating margin excluding energy passthrough impact. Net profit recurring excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.

  6. ^ See definition in appendix.

  7. ^ See definition and reconciliation in appendix.

  8. ^ See definition and reconciliation in appendix.