Linde retains 2001 outlook

German industrial gas and engineering group Linde AG reported first half profits towards the lower end of market expectations but kept its full year earnings forecast, lifting the stock.
Linde said i…

German industrial gas and engineering group Linde AG reported first half profits towards the lower end of market expectations but kept its full year earnings forecast, lifting the stock. Linde said in a statement that first half pre-tax profit rose 2.8% to EUR 182 million (US$ 167.7 million) as sales rose 6.7% to EUR 4.15 billion. The first half figure implies a second quarter pre-tax profit of EUR 134 million, towards the lower end of analysts“ expectations. Ten analysts polled by Reuters provided a range of EUR 115-198 million for Linde“s second quarter pre-tax profit, with an average of EUR 144 million. Linde, the world“s fourth largest industrial gas company, reiterated it expected 2001 sales to grow 8% to over EUR 9 billion despite slowing global economic growth. Operating profit growth would exceed sales growth.