Linde Reports Lower 2Q Profit, Keeps Full-Year Guidance

By Ulrike Dauer Features Dow Jones Newswires

Germany's Linde AG on Friday reported lower net profit for the second quarter because of restructuring costs but was able to increase revenues both in the gases and engineering divisions.

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The German specialty gases and engineering company confirmed its full-year guidance and said merger plans with U.S. peer Praxair Inc. are well on schedule. It said both merger partners expect the business combination agreement to be completed in the second half of 2018. The deal still awaits a number of regulatory approvals--such as from U.S. and German authorities--and antitrust authorities will likely demand comprehensive divestitures in various countries.

Quarterly net profit fell 12.6% to 285 million euros ($332 million), just above an analyst forecast of EUR284 million in a Factset poll. Revenues were EUR4.27 billion, a 2.9% increase and beating the analyst estimate of EUR4.19 billion.

Revenue growth in the gases division was driven by growth in the Europe, Middle East and Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.

Linde affirmed its full-year targets of revenue growth of as much as 3% adjusted for currency movements, but it cautioned that revenue could decline by as much because of challenging market conditions. The company also said it was on track for operating profit rise of up to 7%.

Linde has said it expects restructuring costs to boost the efficiency of the operations to amount to EUR400 million in 2016 and 2017 of which EUR116 million arose in 2016.

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Linde's merger with Praxair would create the industry's biggest player with a combined value of around $74 billion.

Write to Ulrike Dauer at ulrike.dauer@wsj.com

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July 28, 2017 02:56 ET (06:56 GMT)