Commenting on the third quarter 2015, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said:
“In an environment of moderate global growth, the Group delivered in the third quarter a sustained increase in sales. This growth was driven by the dynamism of Healthcare and Electronics, by new unit start-ups and ramp-ups in Large Industries, and by the developing economies. The impact of currency translation is softening, but remains favorable.
Europe at +5% is benefiting from the sustained development of Healthcare and shows signs of recovery in certain industrial sectors. In North America, the slowdown in sectors linked to oil and gas production continues. Asia-Pacific is benefiting from Japan’s positive performance and satisfactory growth in China, where economic activity has become more moderate.
The operating performance is solid and the Group continues to improve its competitiveness and invest in promising markets. The investment backlog amounts to 2 billion euros and represents, along with innovations and technologies under development, an important source of growth over the medium term.
Assuming a comparable economic environment, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to deliver another year of net profit growth in 2015.”
Q3 2015 Group revenue reached € 4,097 million, up +7.8% on a reported basis and up +4.6% on a comparable basis1 versus 3rd quarter 2014. Gas & Services sales, which totaled € 3,701 million, rose by +7.4% on a reported basis. They were up +4.5% on a comparable basis versus 3rd quarter 2014, an increase of one percentage point compared with 2nd quarter 2015. The currency impact, which remains positive this quarter (+4.9% for Gas & Services), softened with respect to the 1st half of 2015 and was partly offset by the negative impact of energy prices (-2.0%).
The momentum remains positive in the developing economies, with 3rd quarter Gas & Services revenue in these countries up +10.4% on a comparable basis.
Globally, growth in Gas & Services revenue for the 3rd quarter 2015, on a comparable basis, is satisfactory given the trend in industrial production, to which a portion of the Group’s activities is linked:
Engineering and Technology revenue rose by +16.8% on a comparable basis versus 3rd quarter 2014. This increase is essentially explained by the conversion of a delayed Large Industries project into the sale of the unit to the customer.
Efficiency gains, which stood at € 204 million for the first nine months of 2015, are in line with the annual target of more than € 250 million. The recurrent actions conducted by the Group, principally in the areas of procurement, logistics, and energy efficiency, have contributed to the operational performance.
1 adjusted for currency, energy (natural gas and electricity) and significant M&A impacts ↩