|Group Revenue||€3,091 million||+10.8%||+8.5%|
|Gas and Services||€2,649 million||+8.0%||+9.1%|
|Engineering & Construction||€189 million||+119.9%||+12.5%|
|Other activities||€253 million||+0.2%||+1.5%|
* on a comparable basis: excluding exchange rates, natural gas and perimeter relating to the Lurgi acquisition where relevant
Group revenue in the first quarter of 2008 amounted to €3,091 million, up by +10.8% as published (+13.8% at constant exchange rates). On a comparable basis*, revenue increased by +8.5%.
Gas & Services revenue in the first quarter, up by +9.1% on a comparable basis, reached €2,649 million. This growth is in line with that of the fourth quarter 2007. It results from sustained demand in all industrial sectors and geographic zones demonstrated by the good performance of Industrial Merchant. In Large Industries, new unit start-ups and ramp-ups are contributing to this growth. After several exceptional growth quarters, the Electronics business remained healthy. Finally, Healthcare has benefited from strong growth in homecare.
In Engineering & Construction, sales more than doubled due to the acquisition of Lurgi, reaching €189 million. Capacities are fully utilised.
Commenting on the first quarter results for 2008, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of the Air Liquide group, stated:
"The dynamic growth noted in 2007, continued in the first quarter, in a well-oriented market environment. This performance again demonstrates Air Liquide's ability to generate strong sustainable growth.
The integrated ALMA program, launched at the start of 2008, is proceeding according to plan and should enable us to strengthen our geographic positions and open up new markets, thanks to sustained strategic investments, continuing innovation and constant improvement in our competitiveness.
For 2008, we maintain our guidance of double-digit growth in net profit at constant exchange rates."