Gas giant Linde posts 15% profit rise

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German industrial gases group Linde said Friday bottom-line profits grew 15 percent in the third quarter of this year on cost-cutting measures.

Linde said in a statement its net profit rose 15.1 percent from a year ago to 305 million euros ($432 million) on a 4.0-percent rise in sales to 3.435 billion euros.

Taking the first nine months as a whole, net profit soared by 64 percent to 748 million euros and sales were up 13.1 percent at 9.405 billion euros.

Given the favourable results, Linde confirmed its forecasts for higher sales and operating profit for the whole year, said chief executive Wolfgang Reitzle.

"We are continuing to make good progress and are therefore able to confirm our previous forecast," he said. "We are still expecting to achieve a higher level of group sales and group operating profit in the 2011 financial year than in 2010."

As far as the general economic environment is concerned, Reitzle said: "Even if economic activity loses a little pace, we continue to see good growth opportunities for our business, especially in energy and the environment and in the emerging economies."

© 2011 AFP

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