Industrial gases company Linde AG said on Friday net profit and revenue rose in the first quarter, mainly due to demand in Europe and Asia, as the company moves closer to a merger with U.S. peer Praxair Inc.
Net profit for the quarter rose to 311 million euros ($338.8 million) from EUR306 million in the year-earlier period, beating analysts' forecast of around EUR254 million. Revenue was up 6.6% to EUR4.39 billion from EUR4.12 billion, with its gases division accounting for EUR3.80 billion of total revenue.
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Revenue growth was driven by Linde's gas supply business in northern Europe and plant start-ups in central and eastern Europe. Demand for liquefied gases and cylinder gas products was higher in most regions, particularly in the Asia, Linde said.
The company affirmed its target of 3% revenue growth adjusted for foreign exchange, but again warned it could decline by as much due to challenging market conditions.
Linde has said it plans to merge with Praxair Inc., creating the industry's biggest player with a combined value of $67 billion.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 28, 2017 02:22 ET (06:22 GMT)