The industrial gases group Linde benefited despite the slowing economy in Europe and also by the acquisition of the U.S. healthcare provider Lincare. The results are mainly because the business of Lincare – which operates in the supply of respiratory home care patients with oxygen therapy. Also, strong demand from Eastern Europe and Asia and a weak Euro helped the Munich-based company. The operating profit of the Group increased year on year by 8.5 percent to EUR 2.563 billion. Group revenue increased by 8.4 percent to EUR 11.063 billion.
Within the individual product areas of the Gases division, the health care business is expected to grow the most. Here, the conversion is as of September 2012 – adjusted for currency effects – by 38.6 percent to EUR 1.265 billion (previous year: EUR 913 million). When compared with the previous year, it should be remembered that the especially expensive Lincare EUR 3.6 billion takeover took place. The newly acquired business in the third quarter contributed EUR 231 million to sales within health care. Without this portion Linde would have achieved growth of 13.3 percent in its health care business.
Lincare with Linde is in the business of medical gases and gas-supply of respiratory patients, aiming to become world number one. However, acquisition of the U.S. healthcare provider Lincare has resulted in more debts for Linde. From January through September, net debt had increased by EUR 3.4 billion to EUR 8.5 billion. Previously, the company had already taken over a medical gases business from U.S. rival Air Products.
To reduce debt, the world’s second largest producer of industrial gases has imposed a new austerity program taken from French Air Liquide. From next year until 2016, between EUR 750 million and EUR 900 million will be achieved in savings.
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