Air Liquide SA (AI), the French maker of industrial gases, reported third-quarter sales that missed analysts’ estimates as a strengthening euro offset growing demand. It reiterated its forecast for profit growth in 2013.
Revenue fell 1 percent from a year earlier to 3.77 billion euros ($5.2 billion), the Paris-based company said today in a statement. The average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of seven analysts was 3.88 billion euros. Adjusted for natural gas and “significant” currency impacts, sales rose 5.1 percent.
“Our performance this quarter is in line with the positive trend observed since the beginning of the year, driven by our healthcare activity, the dynamism in the Americas and Eastern Europe, as well as an improvement in Japan and in electronics,” Chief Executive Officer Benoit Potier said in the statement. “Our operating performance is strong. Air Liquide is confident in its ability to deliver another year of net profit growth in 2013.”
Potier has said he will unveil a strategy this December to manage the challenges of Europe’s economic woes, growing industrial capacity in emerging markets, cheaper U.S. gas, and rising demand for health-care services and electronic goods such as tablets. In February, the group raised its savings target from 2011 to 2015 by 30 percent to 1.3 billion euros.
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