3-8-18 1:53 AM EST | Email Article
   By Nathan Allen 

Linde AG (LINU.XE) said Thursday its fourth-quarter net profit almost doubled on year, after the company strengthened margins at its gases division and received a boost from the U.S. tax reforms.

Net profit at the German industrial gases producer was 544 million euros ($675.3 million) compared with EUR275 million a year earlier, the company said. Revenue slipped around 4% to EUR4.25 billion, it said.

Net profit for the year rose 16% to EUR1.40 billion, Linde said.

Linde said the rise in profits was partly the result of a better operating margin at its gases division, which rose 20 basis points over the year to 28.5%, and a EUR250 million non-cash gain from the U.S. tax reform.

The board proposed a dividend of EUR7.00 a share which will be split into two payments to reflect the 2017 financial year and the first three quarters of the 2018 financial year.

The split dividend payment is set out in the terms of the proposed merger with Praxair Inc. (PX), which is currently the subject of a European Commission investigation.

For 2018, Linde said it expects group revenue to increase by up to 4% and it expects group operating profit to increase by up to 5% after adjusting for exchange rate effects.

The company said it expects to book charges of around EUR150 million from the proposed Praxair merger, which it still expects to complete in the second half of the year.


Write to Nathan Allen at nathan.allen@dowjones.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2018 01:53 ET (06:53 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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