Linde Profit Misses Estimates as European Steel Demand Slows
Mar. 7, 2013
Linde AG, tied with Air Liquide SA as the world’s biggest industrial gas company by sales, reported fourth-quarter profit that missed analyst estimates as slowing demand in Europe stunted growth, Bloomberg reports.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization rose 14% to €967 million (US$1.3 billion), the Munich-based company said in a statement. Analysts had predicted €976 million. Linde proposed an annual dividend of €2.70 a share.
Linde has doubled its North America gases sales with the $3.8 billion purchase of Lincare in August and the acquisition of Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD)’s home care business in January. Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Reitzle said in October he will seek further savings in purchasing, information technology and the cylinder and liquefied gas supply chain.
“We have been able to hold our own, although the climate has worsened in the course of the year,” Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Reitzle said in the statement. “Even though conditions are unlikely to improve, we are sticking to our targets…”