MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Linde Group reported that its profit for the fiscal year 2016 rose to 1.327 billion euros from 1.236 billion euros last year. Earnings per share for continuing operations were 6.50 euros up from 6.10 euros in the prior year, said Rttnews.
"Despite the low price of oil and the economic headwind, we were able to meet expectations and achieve increases in revenue and earnings after adjusting for exchange rate effects, especially in a strong fourth quarter," said Professor Dr Aldo Belloni, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG.
The company's performance was hampered by the lower contribution made to revenue by the Engineering Division in 2016 compared with 2015 and by adverse exchange rate effects.
Group operating profit from continuing operations in the 2016 financial year rose to 4.098 billion euros from the prior-year's 4.087 billion euros.
Due to the planned sale of Gist in 2017, the revenue and operating profit contributed by this division have been reported as a discontinued operation and are therefore not included in the Group figures for 2016. This resulted in a reduction in Group revenue of 602 million euros and in Group operating profit of 44 million euros for the past financial year.
Linde even achieved an increase in Group operating profit after adjusting for exchange rate effects of 2.7 percent. At 24.2 percent, the Group operating margin was 60 basis points above the prior-year figure of 23.6 percent. One factor contributing to this improvement were efficiency improvement measures introduced back in 2015. In the three-year period from 2015 to 2017, this programme is expected to reduce costs by a total of up to EUR 180 m. In 2016, Linde launched another Group-wide efficiency programme called LIFT. Through this three-year programme, additional cost savings of around 370 million euros per annum should be achieved. In total, annual savings of around 550 million eurosshould be achieved from 2019.
Group revenue from continuing operations for the fiscal year declined to 16.948 billion euros from last year's 17.345 billion euros.