Gas group Linde reports rising demand, strong profits

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German industrial gas group Linde reported on Monday a soaring 2010 first-half net profit and maintained its forecast for an increase in full-year sales and operating profit.

Net profit leapt by nearly 80 percent to 445 million euros (580 million dollars), on sales which rose 11.5 percent to 6.1 billion, a statement said.

"The upward trend is continuing. In the course of the second quarter we have increasingly seen a rise in demand worldwide," it quoted chief executive Wolfgang Reitzle as saying.

Reitzle added: "We reaffirm our objective, which is to reach a higher level of group sales and group operating profit in the 2010 financial year than in 2009.

Operating profit was also expected to exceed Linde's record 2008 result of 2.555 billion euros.

In the first six months of this year, the gas group's operating profit gained 26.4 percent from the same period in 2009 to nearly 1.4 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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