|3rd quarter 2009 revenue||published
|Group revenue||2,980 M€||-8.2%||-5.2%|
|Gas & Services||2,514 M€||-8.9%||-5.2%|
* on a comparable basis: excluding exchange rates and natural gas
In an environment which is recovering progressively, 3rd quarter 2009 Group revenue was €2,980 million, a limited decline of -5.2% on a comparable basis against the very high 3rd quarter 2008. Gas & Services sales reached €2,514 million, down -5.2% on a comparable basis.
The Gas & Services activity showed a marked upturn in volume demand from the Group’s customers. Thus, 3rd quarter sales were up by more than 3% compared to 2nd quarter 2009, at constant exchange rates and natural gas prices.
Healthcare continues to grow, bolstered by both homecare and hygiene. The resumption of growth in Emerging Economies, particularly in Asia, and the recovery of volumes in Electronics specialty gases have been confirmed. Sales in Large Industries were affected by declines in natural gas and electricity prices. Industrial Merchant recorded a slight increase in volumes, notably in bulk, and continued to benefit from the positive impact of pricing campaigns.
Commenting on the 3rd quarter 2009, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, stated:
“This quarter has once again shown the resilience in our sales. The increase in volumes compared to the 2nd quarter is noticeable, even if they have not yet returned to the high 2008 levels.
The contribution from the ALMA program continues. It is visible in structural efficiency gains, in cash generation and in the control of the debt level. The Group achieved cost reductions of more than €230 million in the first three quarters of 2009.
The ALMA contribution is also demonstrated in the acceleration of our development in Emerging Economies, with a share of Group revenue that will have doubled over 6 years.
The positive signs observed at the end of the first half have therefore been confirmed, signaling a trend reversal in several sectors.
In this context, we maintain our objective for 2009, of revenue and net income close to 2008 levels.”