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Air Liquide Q4 net profit rises

February 11/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide's full-year net profit rose amid stronger sales and at its gas and services unit, said French producer. 

"Assuming no major change in the environment and the international health situation is under control, Air Liquide is confident in its ability to further increase its operating margin and to deliver net profit growth in 2020, at constant exchange rates," the company said in a statement.

Net profit at the industrial-gas supplier AI, -0.19%  rose to 2.24 billion euros (USD2.45 billion) from EUR2.11 billion a year earlier, the company said.

Revenue for the year increased to EUR21.92 billion from EUR21.01 billion, Air Liquide said. Analysts had forecast net profit of EUR2.23 billion on revenue of EUR22.08, according to a consensus compiled by FactSet.

Overall, and despite the expected global economic slowdown observed in the fourth quarter, the group delivered robust results, the company said.

The increase was partly driven by the gas and services and global markets and technologies segments. The acquisition of Tech Air in the first quarter and the disposal of Fujian Shenyuan in September contributed positively as well, the company said.

Air Liquide said it will propose a dividend of EUR2.70 a share at the next annual general meeting.

As MRC informed earlier, Air Liquide has signed three new long-term contracts, which include the construction and operation of a new nitrogen removal unit (NRU), in the Antwerp Basin with German chemical company BASF.

As MRC wrote earlier, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, has restarted its No. 1 steam cracker following a maintenance turnaorund. Thus, the company resumed operations at the plant on September 30, 2019. The plant was shut for maintenance in mid-August, 2019. Located at Ludwigshafen in Germany, the No. 1 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 235,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 125,000 mt/year.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing PE and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:natural gas, PP, PE, gas processing, Air Products.
Category:General News
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