2023 third quarter revenue
- Press Releases
Solid performance demonstrating the resilience of the business model
Outlook supported by record investment decisions
Commenting on sales in the third quarter of 2023, François Jackow, Chief Executive Oﬃcer of the Air Liquide Group, stated:
“Air Liquide achieved a solid performance in the third quarter, highlighting the resilience of its diversified business model and its ability to prepare for future growth in a challenging macroeconomic and geopolitical environment. The Group’s performance this quarter was characterized by growth of its activity on a comparable basis and a record level of investment decisions. In line with its ADVANCE strategic plan, the Group continued its actions to steadily improve operating performance, in particular to generate efficiencies.
Revenue reached 6.81 billion euros, an increase of +1.5% on a comparable basis in the third quarter. On a published basis, it stood at -17.4%, mainly due to the drop in energy prices (whose variations are contractually passed through to Large Industries customers) as well as negative currency impacts. The Gas & Services activity, which represented 95% of the Group’s revenue, was up +1.7% on a comparable basis. Industrial Merchant and Healthcare were the growth drivers of this activity.
Constantly improving its operating performance, the Group has notably generated significant efficiencies of 320 million euros over nine months, which represents an increase of +22%, despite an inflationary environment unfavorable to cost savings on purchases. It also continued the dynamic management of its business portfolio, while its ability to create value enabled it to adjust its prices in Industrial Merchant. Cash ﬂow grew by +8.6% excluding the currency impact.
The Group’s investment momentum was particularly strong, reflecting its commitment to climate and paving the way for future growth. The project backlog, at 4.2 billion euros, and investment decisions, at 1.3 billion euros this quarter, reached record levels. With more than 40% of projects linked to the energy transition, 12-month investment opportunities are also 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.”
- Announcement of an investment of more than 400 million euros for the construction of the Air Liquide Normand’Hy electrolyzer, in the context of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding notably to provide renewable and low-carbon hydrogen to the TotalEnergies refinery in Gonfreville, Normandy. In the framework of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) approved by the European Commission, the project received the support of the French State for an amount of 190 million euros, as part of the “Plan de Relance”.
- Partnership with INPEX Corporation, LSB Industries Inc., Vopak Moda Houston LLC to study the development of a large-scale low-carbon ammonia production and export project in Houston in the United States, with direct access to the Gulf of Mexico. As part of this project, Air Liquide will in particular provide its ATR technology, one of the most suitable solutions for large-scale production of low-carbon hydrogen (H2), which is then combined with nitrogen (N2) to produce low-carbon ammonia (NH3). Once transported, the ammonia can be converted back into hydrogen to help decarbonize industry and mobility.
- Air Liquide is a partner of a record number of six out of seven renewable and low-carbon hydrogen hubs (Clean Hydrogen Hubs) selected for funding negotiation by the U.S. Department of Energy to receive up to 7 billion USD in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) funding.
- Signature with Trillium Energy Solutions of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the hydrogen fueling market for heavy-duty vehicles in the United States, focusing on both hydrogen supply and fueling infrastructure.
Energy transition & sustainable development
- Through an investment of more than 140 million euros, announcement in October of the establishment in Bécancour, Québec, Canada, of a breakthrough production platform of low-carbon industrial gases to primarily supply, through long term contracts, customers manufacturing battery components for electric vehicles. Completing the Group’s 20 MW PEM electrolyzer, this infrastructure will include a new air separation unit powered by hydroelectricity to produce renewable oxygen and nitrogen, as well as liquid storage capacity, connected by a local pipeline network to best serve its customers.
- Announcement in October of the signing with Vattenfall, one of the European leaders in the production and distribution of electricity in Europe, of a long-term renewable electricity purchase agreement (PPA) in Benelux for an installed offshore wind capacity of approximately 115 MW. In total, Air Liquide has now signed PPAs for a total installed capacity of 270 MW in Benelux. It will provide energy representing more than 70% of the Group's existing electricity consumption in this region, which includes Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
- Air Liquide’s biodiversity commitments are recognized by Act4nature International, an initiative led by business networks, scientific partners and environmental NGOs.
- Amelia Irion is appointed Human Resources Director of the Air Liquide Group. This appointment complements several Changes within the Air Liquide Executive Committee since September 1, 2023.
Group revenue amounted to 6,811 million euros in the 3rd quarter 2023 and posted a comparable growth of +1.5%, which demonstrated the resilience of the portfolio of activities in a challenging environment. The Group’s revenue as published was down -17.4%, impacted by very unfavorable energy (-13.3%) and currency (-6.3%) impacts, the significant perimeter impact being slightly positive at +0.7%.
Gas & Services revenue in the 3rd quarter 2023 reached 6,483 million euros, up by +1.7% on a comparable basis.
- Gas & Services revenue in the Americas totaled 2,556 million euros in the 3rd quarter, up +1.8% on a comparable basis. Large Industries sales (-5.2%) were impacted by relatively low demand and customer turnarounds. Revenue in the Industrial Merchant business posted growth of +3.6%, driven by higher prices (+5.1%) and resilient gas volumes. In Healthcare, the increase in prices in proximity care in the United States and the dynamism of the businesses in Latin America contributed to the very strong increase in sales (+11.7%). Electronics revenue was down by -10.2% compared to very high sales in the 3rd quarter 2022, in a context of slowing demand from memory manufacturers.
- Revenue in Europe was up +2.9% on a comparable basis during the 3rd quarter 2023 and reached 2,331 million euros. In Large Industries, activity stabilized in a difficult environment, with sales up slightly by +0.5%. The +6.5% growth In Industrial Merchant sales benefited from a price impact maintained at a high level (+9.9%) and resilient volumes excluding helium and liquefied CO2, whose supply has been tight. Healthcare business revenue increased by +5.2%, driven by the dynamism of Home Healthcare and the increase in medical gas prices in line with inflation.
- Revenue in Asia Paciﬁc amounted to 1,313 million euros in the 3rd quarter 2023, a -2.0% decrease on a comparable basis. Large Industries sales (-6.4%) were impacted by relatively low demand and customer turnarounds. The Industrial Merchant business posted strong sales growth of +6.8%, supported by high price rises (+ 5,7 %) and a sharp increase in volumes in China. Electronics revenue was down -5.2% compared to very high sales in the 3rd quarter 2022, in the context of a sharp slowdown in the memory market, which penalized sales of specialty and advanced Materials.
- Revenue in the Middle East and Africa posted a sharp increase of +7.8% to 283 million euros in the 3rd quarter 2023. All business lines grew. Large Industries benefited from solid activity. In Industrial Merchant, a high price impact (+11.9%) and a strong increase in volumes made it possible to fully absorb the impact of the divestiture of businesses in the Middle East in the 3rd quarter 2022 and achieve solid sales growth.
In the 3rd quarter 2023, sales growth in the Industrial Merchant activity (+4.9%) was solid and continued to benefit from a high price impact which stood at +6.5%. Gas volumes remained resilient, affected by an unfavorable working day impact. Sales of Large Industries were down by -1.7% on a comparable basis, impacted by customer turnarounds and a relatively low demand which had globally stabilized since the 1st quarter 2023. Healthcare revenue posted a strong growth of +7.3%, driven by the dynamic development of Home Healthcare and price increases of medical gases in an inflationary environment. Electronics revenue was down -5.0% compared to very high sales in the 3rd quarter 2022, in a context of marked slowdown in the memory sector which penalized particularly specialty and advanced materials sales.
Consolidated revenue from Engineering & Construction amounted to 110 million euros in the 3rd quarter and remained stable (-0.8%) compared to the 3rd quarter 2022.
Global Markets & Technologies revenue reached 218 million euros in the 3rd quarter 2023, down by -3.9% on a comparable basis. However, revenue saw an organic growth of +6.3% excluding the impact of divestitures finalized in the 4th quarter 2022.
Industrial and financial investment decisions totaled a very high level of 1.3 billion euros in the 3rd quarter 2023 and 3.1 billion euros since the beginning of the year, thus exceeding 3 billion euros for the first time at the end of September. The investment backlog hit a record high of 4.2 billion euros.
The additional contribution to sales of unit start-ups and ramp-ups totaled 200 million euros at the end of the 3rd quarter. The contribution expected for full-year 2023 has been revised to approximately 270 million euros.
The portfolio of 12-month investment opportunities remained high, at 3.4 billion euros at the end of September 2023 and the portfolio beyond 12 months was strengthened.
The price impact in the Industrial Merchant activity stood at +6.5% in the 3rd quarter 2023 and was in addition to the record price increase of +18.0% in the 3rd quarter 2022. Prices were also increasing in the other Gas & Services business lines. Efficiencies amounted to 320 million euros in the first nine months of the year, up sharply by +22.1% compared to the same period in 2022. The Group continued the active management of its portfolio in 2023 with the integration of 11 small acquisitions and the divestitures of its business in Trinidad and Tobago and of its stake in the company Hydrogenics in the first half.
Cash ﬂow from operating activities before changes in working capital reached 4,754 million euros at the end of September 2023, an increase of +4.1% and +8.6% excluding currency impact. It notably ensures the payment of industrial investments, which totaled 2,431 million euros.
Net debt amounted to 10,168 million euros, a decrease of 382 million euros compared to 10,550 million euros as of June 30, 2023.
In the 3rd quarter of 2023, the Group continued to deploy its energy transition strategy, particularly with investment decisions concerning new low-carbon and renewable industrial gas production units. Furthermore, Air Liquide's commitments made in 2022 regarding biodiversity were recognized and validated by the Act4nature International initiative.
^ 1. Cash flows from operating activities before changes in working capital.
^ 2. Operating margin excluding energy pass through impact. Net proﬁt recurring excluding exceptional and significant transactions that have no impact on the operating income recurring.
^ 3. See definition in the appendices.
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