France's Air Liquide SA (AI.FR) said Wednesday that its third-quarter revenue decreased slightly on the year, citing a foreign-exchange hit which offset positive currency effects in the first half.
Revenue at the French industrial-gases producer was 4.94 billion euros ($5.81 billion), down 0.3% from EUR4.96 billion a year earlier.
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The company is using restated sales--which take into account the divestitures of Aqua Lung and Air Liquide Welding--as its baseline for comparison. Prior to the restatement, Air Liquide reported its third-quarter 2016 revenue as EUR5.08 billion.
Sales at Air Liquide's main gas-and-services business rose 0.1% to EUR4.79 billion, driven largely by developing economies and the Asia-Pacific region, it said. China reported 15% revenue growth thanks to an increase in prices and volumes, while European sales grew by 4.2%, the company said.
Synergies from the acquisition of Airgas, which Air Liquide bought for $10 billion in 2016, came in ahead of schedule thanks to quicker project execution, the company said. Air Liquide now expects synergies of $195 million by the end of 2017 compared with an earlier forecast of $175 million.
Air Liquide said that lower demand in the U.S. due to hurricanes Harvey and Irma had a moderate negative effect on sales. However, it expects insurance to cover most of the impact on operating profit, while forthcoming reconstruction work should drive higher volumes in the coming months.
"Assuming a comparable environment, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to deliver net profit growth in 2017," said Chief Executive Benoit Potier.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 25, 2017 02:09 ET (06:09 GMT)