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Growth program a factor in Linde profit boost

Thursday, 17 Aug 2006 ( #273 ) - WIESBADEN, Germany
News Story
Linde’s cost savings program was a major factor in increased profitability for the first half year in its materials handling segment, the company said in a statement.

Linde AG reported sales in the first six months of 2006 for its former materials handling segment increased 15.9 per cent to EUR1.933 billion (USD2.471 billion) from 2005’s EUR1.668 billion (USD2.133 billion).  

Operating profit rose 48.7 per cent to EUR116 million (USD148 million) from 2005’s EUR78 million (USD99.8 million). The GO (Growth & Operational Excellence) program, which replaced TRIM.100 this year, was a major contributory factor to the rise in profitability, the statement said ( News #250).

Orders received increased 9.1 per cent from 2005’s EUR1.829 billion (USD2.339 billion) to EUR1.995 billion (USD2.551 billion).

The industrial truck market environment was described as "favourable" for the first half of 2006, with global demand growing 13 per cent to the end of June 2006. Linde’s main market, Western Europe, grew eight per cent.

The bulk of growth for the first six months of 2006 was in the Eastern European and Chinese markets, the statement said. Compared to the same period in 2005, demand rose 44 per cent in Eastern Europe and 34 per cent in China.

Linde group sales increased 10.7 per cent to EUR4.991 billion (USD6.382 billion) and group operating profit jumped 29 per cent to EUR481 million (USD615 million) in the six months to June 30.

"We have continued to improve our business operations while successfully meeting the additional challenges in the run-up to the proposed acquisition of BOC," Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle said.

Linde AG’s materials handling segment became a separate legal entity, named Linde Material Handling GmbH & Co KG, on August 1. Linde AG intends to focus on its gas and engineering business once its acquisition of BOC is finalised ( News #263).
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