Home News UPDATE: Linde met expectations in 2009 and holds dividend steady

UPDATE: Linde met expectations in 2009 and holds dividend steady


By Heide Oberhauser-Aslan

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones) – The gases and engineering group Linde has in the crisis year 2009, thanks to a stable development in its Gas division and a strict austerity measures still well beaten, and the Analysts’ expectations. As the Dow Group, headquartered in Munich on Thursday announced that it has succeeded in the sales and Decrease in income compared to last year, while limiting the Improve productivity further. In the fourth quarter of improved sales, operating profit and net profit slightly compared to the third Quarter.

Last year, sales fell by 11.5% to EUR 11.211 billion, Dow Analysts had questioned Jones Newswires, on average, with EUR 11.274 billion expected. Group operating profit fell by 6.7% to EUR 2.385 billion, were estimated 2.383 billion euros. After taxes and minority interests was the Results back to 591 million from 717 million euros in the previous year. Here were the average Estimated £ 586 million has been. The dividend, the Group intends to hold steady in 2009 with EUR 1.80 per share.

We were in a difficult economic environment very neat beat, "said Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Reitzle. The company had succeeded in increasing sales and To limit earnings decline, while productivity improve. "In particular, our gases business was very stable, "explained the manager.

In terms of operating cash flow, Linde has the positive development of continue past quarters, it said. In that comparison, a significant increase achieved by 14.2% to EUR 2.142 billion had been. The fourth Quarterly operating cash flow amounted to EUR 718 million, to EUR 575 million a year earlier. Also in reducing debt, the DAX Group is moving forward: The financial debt decreased in 2009 by just 300 million to 6.119 billion euros.

For restructuring measures in the Linde Last year 83 million EUR spent. The program to Increase productivity and process HPO wants the group in accordance with previous Information 2009 to 2012 Bruttokosteneinsparungen of 650 million EUR 800 million . achieve In the first nine months, Linde had among other things, this Program eliminated about 3,600 jobs in the Group, of which 170 in Germany.

In the fourth quarter, net sales fell to 2.898 billion from 3.271 billion EUR in the previous year, were estimated 2.961 billion euros. Operating Net earnings in the final quarter with almost EUR 644 million the previous year of EUR 645 million, predicted here were 642 million euros. After taxes and Minority interests, the Group earned in the final quarter with 174 million EUR more than last year, have been run as a EUR 165 million profit. Analysts here were estimated 169 million euros.

Further argued that the sales in the Gases Division, 2009 is decreased by 6.1% to 8.932 billion euros. The operating profit stood at 2.378 Billion by only 1.6% below the previous year. The operating margin in the Parte gas had improved significantly by 120 basis points to 26.6%, explained to the group.

As expected, much less developed in 2009 the Engineering Division developed. Here, sales fell by 23.4% to 2.311 billion euros. The operating profit slipped by 21.3% to 210 million EUR ex. The operating margin was 9.1%, but with the clear target exceeded by 8%, it said.

Detailed information for fiscal year 2009 and the Linde aims to further prospects of the Group on 17 March on his Annual Press enter.

Broadly in line ", said a dealer in an initial assessment. Earnings ratios and the unchanged dividend proposal lie exactly in line with expectations, the Profit margin is good. Somewhat disturbing, however, was slightly lower than expected unusual sales in the fourth quarter.

The Linde’s share stood at 15.30 clock with 1.4% in the red at 84.87 EUR while the Dow recorded a total of 0.3% weaker.


Website: www.linde.com

-By Heide Oberhauser-Aslan, Dow Jones Newswires;
+49 (0) 69 29 725 113, heide.oberhauser @ dowjones.com

DJG / hoa / brb
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 04, 2010 09:31 ET (14:31 GMT)

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