Year 2011 seems much more as recovery period than profit-making season. According to Jan 2012 report by Cryogas International, a reputed magazine covering Industrial gases in-depth found global recovery in 2011 has been weaker than in 2010. Airgas chief had already considered year 2012 as the most important year for the industry as per prospective growth rate.
Industrial Gases major based at France said supplies oxygen for the steel sector, argon for welding, nitrogen for chip makers and hydrogen for refineries has seen net profit rose 9.4 percent in 2011, driven by cost cutting gains and emerging economies, which now account for 21 percent of the sales of the Gas & Services business.
Air Liquide is focusing strong growths forecasts from the emerging economies like China & India where steel & chemical industry saw good growth rate compared to western economies. In yester year, Air Liquide made a net profit of 1.535 billion euros, while sales rose 7.2 percent to 14.457 billion. Both figures were broadly in line with the Reuters poll average for net profit of 1.533 billion euros on sales of 14.479 billion. Company is also worried because of huge backlogs in the current year. Air Liquide proposed to pay its shareholders a dividend of 2.50 euros per share for 2011, a rise of 6.4 percent from 2010.
“Barring a major economic downturn, Air Liquide continues to aim for growth in net profit in 2012,” Chairman and Chief Executive Benoit Potier said in a statement.