Air Liquide’s Board of Directors, chaired by Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO, met on July 29, 2011, and reviewed the Group consolidated financial statements at June 30, 2011.
The first half was characterized by sustained growth in both sales and net profit, further investments in all businesses, and the entry into new countries with high growth potential. Group revenue reached €7,115 million at June 30, 2011, representing an increase of +9.2% versus H1 2010 reported sales.
In Gas & Services, revenue reached €6,356 million, up +11.6% on a reported basis (+10.5% on a comparable basis), boosted in particularly by the momentum of Large Industries and Electronics. Growth continued in all geographies, at a significant pace in advanced economies (+7%) and at a very strong pace in developing economies (+28%).
The operating margin reached 16.7% (up +30 basis points on a comparable basis), thanks mainly to efficiency gains, which reached €132 million in the first half, in advance of the full year objective. Net profit (Group share) was €750 million, up +11.1% at June 30.
Net debt, at €5,580 million, is below the June 30, 2010, level and is not subject to refinancing in the coming months. The number of new investment projects, within a portfolio of opportunities totaling €3.7 billion at June 30, 2011, has remained high.
Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Air Liquide Group, stated:
“Business was sustained in the first half of 2011 and profits are up strongly. They reflect the positive momentum in our markets as well as the Group’s ability to achieve a solid operating performance in an environment that was affected by world events, notably in Japan and the Middle-East.
Our continuing research and innovation efforts in key technologies, as well as our investment decisions totaling nearly €1 billion at June 30, will help to support the Group’s medium-term growth.
As part of its ALMA 2015 program, the Group has strengthened its presence in developing economies, which today represent 21% of Gas & Services sales. As a result, our global presence, combined with our pioneering positions in high-growth markets, allows us to reinforce our fundamentals and continue our long term development.
In this context, and assuming normal economic conditions, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to continue to generate steady growth of net profit in 2011.”
*On a comparable basis: excluding impact of currency and natural gas
Limited external audit reviews have been completed in relation to the consolidated interim financial statements, and an unqualified opinion is in the process of being issued by the statutory auditors.