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Linde grew faster than US market


Thursday, 9 Mar 2006 ( #250 ) - WIESBADEN, Germany
News Story
Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle
Linde AG improved growth in all business areas to post group sales totalling EUR9.501 billion (USD11.319 billion) for fiscal year 2005, up 7.3 per cent from 2004’s EUR8.856 billion (USD10.551 billion).

Linde’s gas business increased sales 10.9 per cent to EUR4.438 billion (USD5.287 billion). Its engineering business increased sales 2.7 per cent to EUR1.623 billon (USD1.934 billion) and its materials handling business increased sales 7.6 per cent to EUR3.628 billion (USD4.322 billion).

Operating profit for Linde materials handling increased 14.9 per cent to EUR223 million (USD277.6 million) and the new GO program, replacing the TRIM.100 program, was one reason for the increase. TRIM.100 was Linde’s process optimisation program from 2003 to 2005, credited with enabling the company to achieve cost savings (Forkliftaction.com News #203). The GO program is aimed at improving cost structures and opening new growth areas.

In Asia, the industrial trucks market grew 7.8 per cent and Linde achieved a 2.5 per cent increase in sales to EUR162 million (USD193 million).

Linde launched a second forklift brand, OM Pimespo, in China in 2005 and part of its marketing strategy in China is to expand production at the Xiamen plant. A new electric counterbalanced truck is expected to come from Xiamen this year.

"In the first 12 months, we completed local production of the XD-25/30 diesel forklift and established an efficient dealer network. We have already received around 400 orders," Linde said in a statement.

Linde achieved sales of EUR3.157 billion (USD3.761 billion) in Europe, its most important forklift market, with "above-average" growth in Eastern Europe and "slight growth" in the rest of Europe. To capitalise on Eastern Europe’s strong market growth, Linde expanded its marketing operations in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Linde said the European forklift market grew 3.9 per cent in 2005.

Its North American business saw sales jump 28 per cent to EUR143 million (USD170 million). "We grew faster than the [US industrial truck] market, which rose 6.4 per cent in 2005," Linde said.

Twenty-three per cent of Linde materials handling’s 2005 truck sales came from Germany, 61 per cent from "other Europe", 4.5 per cent from Asia, 3.9 per cent North America, 3.1 per cent Australia/Africa and 1.5 per cent from South America.

In 2005, Linde sold 71,562 Linde forklifts, up 3.2 per cent from 2004’s 69,337; 36,859 Still forklifts, up 6.6 per cent from 2004’s 34,593; and 16,765 OM Pimespo forklifts, up 7.2 per cent from 15,646.
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