Feb 16 (Reuters) – Air Liquide (AIRP.PA) reported on Thursday annual sales only slightly short of consensus, saying the French industrial gases company’s resilience would allow it to invest in decarbonization and energy transition projects in Europe and the United States.
The results were hit by a record energy impact reaching 16% annually, caused by the war in Ukraine and high inflation environment, the company said. The company added it is still resilient thanks to a broad presence in different geographies and the company’s ability to adapt to the challenging environment.
The supplier of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to factories and hospitals posted sales of 29.93 billion euros ($32.04 billion) in 2022, slightly below the 29.96 billion euros ($32.08 billion) average forecast from a company-provided consensus.
One of the largest hydrogen producers in the world pointed to significant investment opportunities in United States, especially along the Gulf Coast, resulting from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
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Air Liquide benefits from the clean energy transition in the United States, especially after President Joe Biden signed the $430 billion Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) last August, seen as the biggest climate change package in the country’s history.
“The year is expected to be marked by the signing of several major projects in the field of decarbonization and energy transition in Europe and by an acceleration of these opportunities in the United States,” François Jackow, Chief Executive Officer said.
During the last year, Air Liquide signed 52 new contracts for on-site gases production for its industrial merchant business, as the company announced in January.
In 2023, the company expects to further increase its operating margin and to deliver recurring net profit growth, at constant exchange rates, leaving its previous year’s outlook unchanged.
($1 = 0.9341 euros)
Reporting by Andrey Sychev and Bartosz Dabrowski; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Kim Coghill
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